By eradicating the origins of oceanic plastic pollution, we simultaneously uplift underprivileged communities, fostering their escape from poverty.
Free The Sea is actively developing business models that promote ocean regeneration, social balance, and a circular economy. With this project, we address the pressing issue of plastic pollution in oceans and food chains by providing high-quality recycled plastic feedstock, designing circular products, and employing new processes and technologies to create durable recycled compounds for various industries, bringing them closer to eliminating the need for virgin materials and closing the plastic loop.
Step 1: Community Development
In Batam island, Indonesia, weak waste management systems and insufficient education have led to a daily littering of approximately 300 tons of plastic waste. This has resulted in adverse effects on the local communities, with ocean-bound litter accumulating in waterways and the Indopacific Ocean, as well as on land, affecting precious species and their natural habitats. To address this issue, our Community Development strategy focuses on establishing waste management services in key areas that contribute to ocean pollution. We collaborate with international and local partners to construct recycling drop-off points and organize local cleanups. Additionally, we arrange gatherings to educate and raise awareness about the waste problem in the region.
Step 2: Collecting
Our collection activities consist of three primary streams: drop-off stations in communities, direct pick-up service from businesses, and ocean cleanups. In these efforts, we ensure that local collectors are paid above the market rate for the material they bring in. Additionally, we actively engage with schools and non-profit organizations to collect plastic waste. Through these diverse approaches, we are committed to making a positive impact and effectively tackling the issue of plastic waste.
Step 3: Sorting
In this step, we collaborate with Batam Bank Sampah (Waste Bank) - an inititative that is fully run by local female communities with aim to reduce waste pollution in communities. We have different ways of collaborating with Bank Sampah locations. For instance, a local business collects plastic waste and donate it to a Bank Sampah location where waste is sorted by color and material type. Then, Free The Sea purchases the material from Bank Sampah.
Step 4: Recycling
Single-used plastic waste materials are processed into FTS Rescued Plastic® flakes after sorting, shredding, cleaning and drying processes.
Step 5: Compounding
FTS Rescued Plastic® flakes are upcycled in a special compounding process to a new high-performance polymers. During compounding process, our locally collected plastic flakes are blended with recycled engineering resins in a secret formula created by Free The Sea R&D team. All ingredients in a formula go through a pre-blending, extrusion and post-blending processes. We call our upcycled resins ''FTS Circular Compound''. We are proud to have developed a formula that tolerates a contamination level that would not have allowed common recycling processes (basically what you find after the material has been lying on beaches etc). Therefore we are in fact rescuing this material from its fate of either slowly decaying in our oceans and being consumed by its precious species, landfills or illegal, uncontrolled incineration.
Step 6: Converting
Our high-performance FTS Circular Compound resins are sent to our mother company WIK Group, one of the world-leading manufacturers for home appliances. At WIK, our Circular Compounds are converted into high-quality home appliances such as coffee machines and water dispensers.
Where the majority of the material is short lived and low value plastic packaging material, it is now entering the cycle of longevity applications.