Dell Inc. and Lonely Whale will form of a collaborative and open-source initiative called NextWave, convening General Motors, Trek Bicycle, Interface, Van de Sant, Humanscale, Bureo and Herman Miller. NextWave convenes leading technology and consumer-focused companies to develop the first-ever commercial-scale ocean-bound plastics supply chain. Additional supporting members of the group include UN Environment, 5Gyres Institute, Zoological Society of London and New Materials Institute.
Research shows that an estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic waste entered the ocean in 2010, and if trends do not change, more than 150 million tonnes of plastic waste will have entered the ocean by 2025. This poses not only a threat to vital ocean ecosystems including critical fish nurseries and coral reefs, but also adversely affects the health and longevity of marine species and humans.
NextWave members will share responsibility in development of a sustainable model that reduces ocean-bound plastic pollution at scale, while creating an economic and social benefit for multiple stakeholders. In addition, the group will ensure that the resulting supply chain has the infrastructure and support necessary to meet demand as well as align with globally approved social and environmental standards. Finally, the initiative will confirm the integrity of the supply chain and resulting product integration through chain-of-custody compliance and external, third-party verification of impact.
“Collaboration is critical to addressing the issue of ocean plastic at scale. I’m thrilled to partner closely with leaders across industries to advance our collective interest in creating solutions that create value from waste,” noted Kevin Brown, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Dell.
“I am so proud to see our partnership with Dell continue to grow and inspire companies across industries to use their capabilities to address ocean health. This is no individual company’s problem; this impacts every human being and company, and it is incredible to see these industry leaders coming together,” added Adrian Grenier, Founder, Lonely Whale; Social Good Advisor, Dell.
Lonely, but not alone
The Lonely Whale, an NGO dedicated to bringing people closer to the world’s ocean through K-12 education, consumer campaigns and market-based solutions will convene the group. NextWave will actively engage scientists and advocates working with marine litter and ocean health to advise on a sustainable model that supports the needs of coastal communities and environments. The initiative is supported by UN Environment, with private sector partners invited to sign up to the Clean Seas campaign as part of their commitment.
NextWave anticipates that together they will divert more than 3 million pounds of plastics from entering the ocean within five years, the equivalent to keeping 66 million water bottles from washing out to sea.
Importantly, member companies have agreed to also reduce plastic usage across their operations and supply chains. While working to stop the flow of ocean-bound plastic it is critical to ensure each company assesses its own plastic footprint and eliminate and/or significantly reduce its own use of single-use and non-recyclable plastics.
This initiative was driven out of the relationships between Dell and the Lonely Whale. In 2015, Dell partnered with Adrian Grenier, founder of Lonely Whale, to educate companies and consumers on the dangers of ocean plastics through the Lonely Whale VR experience, powered by Dell. Dell launched its first ocean-bound plastic packaging pilot in February 2017 and assisted with the launch of the UN Environment Programme’s Clean Seas Initiative which has led to more than 33 countries taking action to reduce marine litter. In June Dell and Lonely Whale addressed the United Nations at the 2017 UN Ocean Conference, where Dell pledged its commitment to UN SDG Goal 14.
Dell has a history of supporting programs that further enable a circular economy as a part of its 2020 Legacy of Good Plan. To learn more about the initiative, visit NextWavePlastics.org, and to learn more about Dell’s work in ocean plastics, visit Dell’s Ocean Plastics Program page.