The Ocean Cleanup chooses DNV GL to verify the origin of their ocean plastic

For 18 months DNV GL has worked with The Ocean Cleanup to establish a set of requirements and verification processes, designed to enable consumer trust and transparency, in the burgeoning ocean-plastic market

Vancouver BC, Canada – December 12, 2019 – The Ocean Cleanup, the Dutch non-profit organization developing advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic, has brought the first batch of ocean plastic to shore following their first mission to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the world’s largest accumulation of plastic waste in the world, spanning an area of 1.6 million square kilometers. This plastic trash will be transformed into products that will be sold to contribute to the funding of continued cleanup operations. To confirm the origin of these future plastic products, The Ocean Cleanup has selected DNV GL as their assurance partner to verify the plastic is from the ocean. 

“To bring transparency to the market, we asked the leading certification body DNV GL to launch a standard, to certify that ocean plastic is actually 100% plastic taken from the ocean.  DNV GL followed every step of ocean plastic and will continue to do so, to be able to confirm if the plastic in our products truly is 100% coming from the ocean,” says Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup.

From Pollution to Product

With the primary aim of funding continued cleanup operations, The Ocean Cleanup has, from the start, planned to create a value chain from their collected debris. The intention has been to develop attractive, sustainable products made from material collected in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The return to shore of The Ocean Cleanup's first plastic catch marks the beginning of this historic journey. To date, no product on the market is fully made of plastic removed from the high seas – proving to be another challenging endeavor for the organization.

Verifying Ocean Plastic

Currently, it is not compulsory for an independent, third party to verify that the material has been sourced from the ocean, and products labeled as “ocean plastic” may not be entirely sourced from the ocean. To add further transparency to the work, the origin of the material used in The Ocean Cleanup’s products will be verified by DNV GL, a leader in industry certifications. 

For a year and a half, DNV GL has been developing a set of requirements and verification processes. These processes allow the highest level of traceability and clarify how ocean plastic is defined, bringing transparency to this rapidly-developing market.  As a next step, the requirements will be developed into a standard, open to all parties interested in ocean-plastic product certification. It will ensure the origin of recovered plastics is defined and verified, allowing consumers to trust that products are made from plastic removed from the ocean.

“Building trust through standards and independent verification has been DNV GL’s work and mission for more than 155 years.  Our objective has always been to address challenges at hand, contributing to safer and more sustainable outcomes in a transparent way.  When purchasing products verified by DNV GL, consumers can fully trust that it is an ocean plastic product and that they are contributing to the solution,” says Luca Crisciotti, CEO of DNV GL-Business Assurance.

About DNV GL

DNV GL is a leading provider of risk management and quality assurance services and a global leader in certifying companies’ management systems, products and supply chains across many industries, including food and beverage. We combine technical, digital and industry expertise to help companies manage their most critical risks, demonstrate compliance with regulations and standards, and empower decisions and actions. Our integrated, digital solutions allow companies and trade partners to efficiently achieve high supply chain integrity.

With origins stretching back to 1864 and operations in more than 100 countries, we partner with our customers to build sustainable business performance and create stakeholder trust across all types of industries. Our experts are dedicated to helping customers make the world safer, smarter and greener.

About The Ocean Cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup develops advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic.

Founded in 2013 by Boyan Slat, The Ocean Cleanup now employs approximately 90 engineers and researchers. The foundation is headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Instead of going after plastic debris with vessels and nets – which would take many thousands of years and billions of dollars to complete – The Ocean Cleanup plans to deploy a fleet of long floating barriers that act like an artificial coastline, enabling the winds, waves, and currents to passively catch and concentrate the plastic. Once fully operational, the full fleet of passive collection systems is expected to remove 50% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch every five years.

Complementary to its approach to solve the legacy problem of plastic in the ocean garbage patches, the organization developed the Interceptor technology to help prevent plastic garbage from entering the oceans via rivers. Interceptors are now deployed in Jakarta, Indonesia and Klang, Malaysia, with preparations ongoing for further deployments around the world.