Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
Miro and HP’s Ellen Jackowski at the Sustainable Brands conference in Detroit.
Marine plastic pollution, as we often mention here, is a staggering problem–one which left unaddressed will ensure that there is more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans by 2050. While companies have announced initiatives to combat the plastic waste crisis, our question is always, how do you stop new plastic from being made while not shifting the cost of expanded recycling infrastructure to cash-strapped municipalities? At the Sustainable Brands conference happening this week in Detroit, I (Miro) got a chance to sit down with Ellen Jackowski, HP’s Global Head of Sustainability Strategy and Innovation, to ask her these very questions about HP’s initiative to use ocean-bound plastic in their recyclable ink cartridges and now, personal computer monitors.
HP’s program was designed to stop plastic pollution at the source and scale the use of ocean-bound plastics by developing the first global network of ocean-bound plastics supply chains:
Through a program in Haiti, HP has teamed up with local NGOs to create a market where local workers collect discarded plastic bottles that would have otherwise wound up in the ocean.
These bottles are cleaned, processed, and turned into PET plastic pieces that HP then buys and uses to make new ink cartridges.
Poverty in Haiti means that there’s no municipal trash collection or clean tap water so Haitians are reliant upon bottled water which then gets discarded in ditches that empty into the ocean.
What’s really cool about this program is that black plastic and pigmented plastic bottles are far less recyclable but since HP’s ink cartridges are black, the company is able to buy all colors of recycled PET for their supply chain.
When HP was creating this market the company ensured that workers who collect bottles and work in the processing plants are paid a living wage which has numerous economic multipliers in the local community.
Take a look at this video to see how bottle collectors are able to earn a living through the new ocean-bound plastics market being created by HP and other companies:
Why This Matters: Poverty is the fundamental driver of ocean plastic pollution because when countries don’t have waste collection infrastructure, trash ends up being dumped in the ocean for lack of an alternative. Tacking poverty by creating jobs through sustained markets is a fundamental step in ensuring that we don’t reach the 2050 scenario outlined above. Part of creating these markets involves companies who use plastic as an input to invest in better recycling infrastructure in the communities where they operate. Ellen told me that HP recently expanded its program in Haiti through a $2 million investment in a plastic washing line that will result in cleaner, higher quality recycled local plastic for use in HP products–an investment that she admitted she couldn’t have previously envisioned but ultimately a circular supply chain makes good business sense.
While an Olympic medal is special in its own right, the ones being handed out at the Tokyo 2020 games come with a little extra magic. After Tokyo won its bid to host the games, the Tokyo Medal Project, called on the Japanese people to donate their old recycled old electronic gadgets such as smartphones […]
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer A new series of bills have been introduced in Congress that aim to quell food waste. These bills — the Zero Food Waste Act, and the Cultivating Organic Matter through the Promotion of Sustainable Techniques Act (COMPOST) —will reduce food waste and in turn help create jobs, slow climate […]
Two dozen goats were unleashed in Manhattan’s Riverside park last week to get to work chomping down on invasive weeds. Crowds of spectators went to the park Wednesday to witness the ceremonial “running of the goats,” as the animals were released into the area, where they enjoyed a multi-course meal of Japanese knotweed, porcelain berry, multiflora rose, and even […]
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.