Regular readers of our blog posts know that Seraphim Plastics specializes in recycling commercial plastic waste. We buy commercial and industrial plastic scrap and convert it into a material that manufacturers can add to virgin plastic for making new products. We are pleased to learn of a Canadian foundation that does much the same thing. The big difference is that their plastic scrap comes from the ocean.
The Ocean Legacy Foundation is a well-known organization in Canada committed to preserving the world’s oceans and simultaneously reducing the amount of plastic waste being thrown away. They have come up with a new recycled product they are calling Legacy Plastic. It is a 100% post-consumer plastic product derived from plastic waste collected from both water and shore.
We Pick Up From Customers
We rely on customers in seven states to supply the scrap plastic we need to make regrind. Plastic regrind is what we sell to manufacturers. We don’t have a fancy name for our regrind. It is just regrind. Nonetheless, the customers who purchase it are more than pleased to have access to it.
Meanwhile, the Ocean Legacy Foundation gets their plastic through a combination of their own collection efforts and other groups willing to collect on their behalf. Trust us when we say their job is much harder than ours. We pick up scrap plastic that has already been sorted and cleaned. Not so for the Foundation
The Foundation and its collection partners pick up all sorts of scrap plastic during each one of their collection events. The materials need to be separated from other trash first. Then different types of plastics must be sorted from one another. Finally, anything the Foundation intends to recycle must be decontaminated.
We Succeed As a Post-Industrial Plastic Waste Business
We owe our success to a rock-solid business plan and loyal customers. Some of those customers sell us their plastic while others purchase regrind from us. Without both, Seraphim Plastics would cease to exist. So we thank our customers for that. We also realize that we have an advantage in that our success is built on the profit motive.
Up in Canada, the Ocean Legacy Foundation isn’t a business. It is a non-profit that relies as much on donations as sales of its Legacy Plastic product to keep going. They deserve credit for doing what a lot of American municipalities have failed to do over the years: successfully recycled post-consumer plastics.
The Differences Between Plastics Waste Types
If you are not sure what post-consumer plastics are, they are the plastics you encounter every day as part of your normal routine. Post-consumer plastics include everything from water and juice bottles to take-out food containers and the plastic packaging that encases hundreds of thousands of retail products.
A good way to tell is to think about who normally throws away a given piece of plastic. If it’s normally consumers, you are dealing with a post-consumer product. If it is a business, you are most likely dealing with commercial or industrial plastic.
For the record, Seraphim Plastics does not recycle post-consumer plastic waste. The cost of sorting and cleaning would make doing so unprofitable. We stick with industrial plastics that are much easier to deal with. We also insist that our customers sort and clean before we arrive, thereby reducing our costs.
The Ocean Legacy Foundation has figured out a way to make post-consumer plastic recycling work. It is a pretty safe bet they aren’t making a profit on it. Nonetheless, they are doing exceptionally good work keeping plastic waste out of the water and off the shoreline.