Plastic waste has become a huge problem in the world. The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) estimates that the world’s production of plastic waste is almost 300 M tons of plastic every year. Worse, about 8M tons of plastic waste enter the ocean annually. If not addressed immediately, the problem with outdoor industry in Europe will bring disastrous impacts upon the ecology, thus endangering the future generation.
EOCA for Clean Outdoor Industry in Europe
Problem with plastic waste is not only due to the huge production, but also the its ability to transport harmful substances. Fortunately, a number of societal organizations appear to help solve the problems, or at least the minimize the growth of plastic waste. One of them is The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA).
The organization consists of outdoor industry in Europe. The association builds a commitment to help each other. The members participate in cleaning plastic waste around the environment. They work in different areas, from the beaches to the mountain peaks. The members also have a commitment to reduce the use of plastic in daily life.
In 2019, the association will fund a number of project that support charities to aimed at carrying out waste clean-up projects. The projects focus mainly on outdoor industry in Europe. The main criteria of projects to be funded by EOCA include:
- Raising awareness on the danger of plastic waste
- Educating and training the community on how to reduce plastic waste
- Projects that address specific threat or problem caused by plastic waste
- Having something to do with outdoor industry
What EOCA Does to Create Clean Outdoor Industry in Europe
EOCA works with its member to provide guidance for outdoor companies that want to reduce use of plastic in daily operation. It also collaborates with European Outdoor Group that is running Single Use Plastics Project this year. The project is actually a part of Retail Meets Brand, which aims at realizing single-use plastics throughout the supply chains.
This collaboration provides the two associations with joint powers to find solutions for the problems of plastic waste. One of them is creating a market for recycled material and use of biodegradable packaging material. These initiatives aim at addressing environmental issues.
Examples of companies involved in this project include Nixwax. The company targets that by mid-2019, 85% of its bottle plastic will be recycled. Then, by 2020, all of the bottle plastic will be recycled. The outdoor company has long built a strong commitment to maintain the environment. For instance, it never uses aerosols, avoids using CFSs, and builds solvent-free processing facilities.
Nixwax also does some attempts to balanced out the carbon emissions by conducting forest restoration in Ecuador. Now, it is conducting some projects aimed at promoting a market for recycled materials, reducing the use of plastic packaging, making plastic easier to recycle by only using single kind of plastic in one item, and using recyclable plastic.
Of course, the role of outdoor industry in Europe such as Nixwax will play great role in reducing the plastic waste. Everything begins with awareness. Then, EOCA encourages other companies to do the same by supporting them financially.