South West independent recycling and waste management company DCW has signed an exclusive agreement with the Ocean Recovery Project to give a new lease of life to plastic waste found along the South West’s coastline.
Marine plastic waste collected through beach cleans run by Keep Britain Tidy’s Ocean Recovery Project will now be used in the making of DCW’s new recycled furniture product, the Atlantic Ocean Bench.
DCW Polymers, DCW’s specialist plastic reprocessing plant in Exeter, launched its recycled plastic furniture range in 2021. Every product is made from 100% plastic waste collected from businesses across the region and now the recycling experts have refined the process to incorporate marine plastics in the manufacturing process.
This new partnership will ensure marine plastic waste is removed from the region’s coastline and contributes to DCW’s special ocean furniture range with the Atlantic Ocean Bench marking its debut.
Mimicking the waves and movement of the ocean, the curved Atlantic Ocean Bench is made from 100% recycled plastic with at least 20% of the material collected from the ocean. The limited-edition bench incorporates blue and grey tones and comfortably sits six adults. DCW’s latest recycled product is handmade to order with 10% of all sales being donated to the Ocean Recovery Project to help fund the environmental charity’s valuable work in promoting beach cleans and running educational campaigns.
Jason Goozee, Head of DCW Polymers, commented: “We all know that plastic waste in our ecosystem is a cause for concern, but the problem has now reached an alarming scale. Scientists have estimated that more than 8 million tonnes of plastic enter our oceans every year, causing significant harm to not just marine wildlife, but humans too. Over time, plastic breaks down into tiny particles called microplastics. These are ingested by sea creatures, becoming part of the food chain, and have been found in drinking water, salt, beer and the soil in which we grow our food.
“It’s thought there are now more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic in our oceans. It will take a mammoth effort to solve the problem, but we can all play our part. That is why we have teamed up with the Ocean Recovery Project to help clean up the South West’s coastline, putting marine plastic waste to good use.
“It’s thanks to our continued investment at DCW Polymers that we are now able to do this. For the past 18 months, we have been manufacturing a range of sustainable furniture products from plastic waste collected from businesses across the South West, but marine plastics can be a little trickier to work with.
“After extensive trials and upgrading our machinery, we have refined the process and can now incorporate these tricky-to-recycle plastics into our manufacturing process. It’s a big achievement in the fight against marine plastic waste. The Atlantic Ocean Bench is the first product that we have made using marine plastic, but we hope to expand the range in the coming months.”
Keep Britain Tidy’s Neil Hembrow commented: “The new ocean bench range gives us an opportunity to collect our beach plastics and utilise them locally in the South West. From the far west of Cornwall to Dorset, we can support volunteers by collecting plastics from beach cleans to create a long-lasting, resilient product to be enjoyed for many years.”
The manufacture of DCW’s recycled furniture has been recognised as outstanding at the recent Made in the South West awards, where the firm received the coveted Manufacturer of the Year Award 2022.
DCW Polymers is the only specialist plastics recycling, reprocessing and manufacturing plant of its type in the South West. With a fleet of 70 modern vehicles, the commercial recycling firm can collect items from both businesses and wider communities, providing a processing service for bulky plastics such as plastic bins, playground equipment, garden furniture, plastic pallets, crates and even larger items such as kayaks and pontoon floats.