Today, NextWave Plastics — a collaborative, open-source initiative convening leading technology and consumer-focused companies to develop the first global network of ocean-bound plastics supply chains — announced that HP Inc. and IKEA are joining its global consortium. The addition of HP and IKEA marks 10 companies collaborating to “turn off the tap” of plastic entering the ocean.
Since announcing in September 2016 that it would join the First Mile Coalition to clean up plastic waste and create economic opportunity for the people of Haiti, HP and its partners have built a fully functioning ocean-bound plastics supply chain using bottles collected in Haiti. Today, along with joining NextWave, the tech giant announces it has sourced 250 tonnes of ocean-bound plastics from Haiti — that’s more than 12 million plastic bottles that are being upcycled into Original HP ink cartridges instead of entering the Caribbean Sea — and created more than 600 income opportunities for adults in the country.
In June 2018, IKEA announced its updated sustainability strategy, with new commitments to become people and planet positive by 2030. Commitments included removing single-use plastic products across its stores by 2020 and designing all IKEA products with new circular principles by 2030, with the goal to only use renewable and recycled materials.
Both HP and IKEA recognize the importance of joining forces with other like-minded entities to not only scale their own ocean-bound plastics supply chain efforts, but to also extend across industries to make it commercially viable for all, for maximum impact.
“While HP has already demonstrated our commitment to sustainable impact by eliminating ocean-bound plastics and reusing them in our products, we firmly believe in the power of collaboration,” said Stuart Pann, chief supply chain officer. “We want to scale our collective efforts amongst industry leaders, work together to address barriers and engage others in the quest for an ocean free from plastic. We have a responsibility to take the critical steps necessary to reduce plastic pollution. Collaboration within and between industries is one of those critical steps.”
“The consequences of plastic pollution are severe and IKEA is determined to contribute to its solution in a positive and proactive way," said Lena Pripp-Kovac, sustainability manager at Inter IKEA Group. "Together with other NextWave companies, we will be developing a global network of ocean-bound plastics supply chains, learning from each other’s efforts and working together to ensure maximum business, community and environmental benefit. Our goal is to make ocean-bound plastic a commodity for the future, and we want to take initiatives to prevent plastic from ending up in the ocean in the first place. We hope this membership will lead to new learnings and new innovations and that we can inspire other companies to follow.”
In 2017, as part of a United Nations commitment to Sustainable Development Goal 14, Dell Technologies and Lonely Whale launched NextWave Plastics, to build on Dell’s ocean-bound plastic program launched in 2016.
Since its launch, NextWave member companies Bureo, Dell Technologies, General Motors, Herman Miller, Humanscale, Interface and Trek Bicycle have each been developing their product use cases to demonstrate the viability of integrating ocean-bound plastics found in areas such as Indonesia, Chile, Philippines, Cameroon and Denmark, into their supply chains. The addition of new member companies supports greater demand for these plastics and strengthens supply chain stability.
HP and IKEA will join Bureo, Dell Technologies, Herman Miller, Humanscale and Interface at the fifth annual Our Ocean Conference — taking place Oct. 29-30 in Bali, Indonesia — where their engagement will be formally announced. Hosted by the Government of the Republic of Indonesia, Our Ocean is focused on generating commitments and taking actions to maintain the sustainability of our oceans. NextWave member companies will share their current impact and their joint commitment to scale their impact and address the marine litter crisis at a global scale.
NextWave has been noted as a 2018 Fast Company World Changing Idea and is being considered for the P4G Summit State of the Art Partnerships Circular Innovation Award sponsored by the Danish Government for its commitment to the significant reduction of ocean-bound plastics. NextWave’s collaboration across and within industries, and their partnership with governments and NGOs, is a key feature of this recognition.
“If we sit on the sidelines or work within our own four walls, the fate of our ocean is well known to us,” said Dune Ives, executive director of Lonely Whale and managing director of NextWave. “With rising levels of plastic pollution, increasing warming and acidification, our ocean is in crisis. In turn, our future is at risk. Where others are planning for change, NextWave companies are making a difference today through the development of commercially viable and operational ocean-bound plastics supply chains and integration of this non-virgin material into products and packaging. Their work has only begun and the hill to climb is high, but by working within and across industries, these global leaders will inspire the change on and in the water that is necessary to ensure a healthy planet.”
NextWave member companies are currently sourcing verified ocean-bound plastics from Cameroon, Chile, Denmark, Haiti, Indonesia and the Philippines. They are committed to expanding supply chain efforts in those countries and adding new sources of supply from a minimum of three additional countries including India, Taiwan, Thailand by the year 2025. Through these efforts, NextWave companies will also expand the types of material sourced and will work closely with other supply chain development initiatives to create scale within priority communities.
“It’s inspiring to see organizations from various industries and market competitors joining forces to innovate and improve the supply chain,” said Erik Solheim, UN Environment executive director and under-secretary-general of the United Nations. “The companies behind NextWave are bold leaders standing up for our ocean and battling against the millions of tonnes of plastics that end up in it each year.”
NextWave Member companies are committed to having maximum impact today and currently are on track, in alignment with UN SDG 14.1, to have diverted a minimum of 25,000 tonnes of plastics, the equivalent to 1.2 billion single-use plastic water bottles, from entering the ocean by the end of the year 2025. There is currently more than 86 million tonnes of plastic in our ocean. And each year, up to 12 million tonnes of new plastic will enter the ocean. Given this crisis, NextWave Members are continually looking for ways to have more impact.