News & insights

Our community partner, Sea Cleaners, launch innovative recycling initiative

Sea Cleaners 1200 735 px

25/11/2022

Community, New Zealand |

Not-for-profit Sea Cleaners is on a mission to clean up New Zealand’s waterways and have recently launched an innovative recycling initiative to help close the loop on plastic.

Since 2018, The Coca-Cola Foundation have provided a grant valued at more than $300,000NZD each year to help Sea Cleaners remove rubbish from our waterways. To date, over 13 million litres of rubbish have been collected.

This year, Sea Cleaners, have launched an innovative new pilot initiative with Future Post to recycle some of the reusable marine litter and turn it into plastic fence posts, to help close the loop on plastic. 

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Captain and Founder of Sea Cleaners, Hayden Smith, says he’s excited to be exploring new ways of reducing waste from landfill by turning it into useful and high-quality products that go back into the community.

“Traditionally marine rubbish collected by the Sea Cleaners team have gone to landfill. The launch of this pilot initiative means the marine rubbish collected will be sorted and the plastics suitable for recycling will go on to have another life as a fence post.”

“We’re currently trialling this initiative in partnership with Northland Waste and Future Post. The marine litter we collect in Kaitaia, and the Bay of Islands is dropped off at Northland Waste, which consolidates plastics suitable for recycling before sending them to Future Post,” said Smith.

Founder of Future Post, Jerome Wenzlick, explains: “The plastics we receive from Sea Cleaners efforts get chipped up and used to produce our fence posts for farms, vineyards, homes and more. And if one ever breaks, it’s not wasted. We simply put it back in the mix, as these posts can be used over and over again.”

Hayden acknowledges that tackling the marine litter problem is a big job and one that needs to be shared.

“I’m hugely grateful for partners like Future Post, Northland Waste and The Coca-Cola Foundation, who are making it possible to achieve so much more than when we first started out 20 years ago. Through collective efforts like these we can really make a difference in the world,” he says. 

We know our packaging is part of the problem.

Plastic doesn’t belong on our precious coastlines, and we’re proud to have partnered with Sea Cleaners since 2018, to help get more vessels on the water to remove marine litter. 

We are also committed to using less new plastic and working towards a world without waste. By 2030, our global ambition is to help collect and recycle the equivalent of a bottle or can for every one we sell.