6 June 2022

Plenty Of Fish In The Sea: Ocean Plastic

Ocean Plastic

Plenty of fish in the sea? The age-old saying might be more accurate in recent years if you replace “fish” with “plastic”; considering that plastic already outnumbers sea animals by seven to one


In this article we’ll be detailing why using marine and ocean plastics in your packaging is a great move – not just for your brand but also for the environment. Packaging accounts for 40% of plastic but is the highest end-use market segment. Of all the packaging that ends up in the ocean: 

  • 70% ends up in the shallows or at the bottom of the seabed 
  • 15% returns to the coast and beaches
  • 15% ends up floating on the surface of the ocean


Scary statistics are all very well, but what about the types of plastics and how can you use them in your packaging? Here are the seven types of plastic and the grade of plastic it is associated with when recycling:

  • Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE/PET) Grade 1
  • High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Grade 2
  • Plasticized Polyvinyl Chloride/Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Grade 3
  • Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) Grade 4
  • Polypropylene (PP) Grade 5
  • Polystyrene (PS) Grade 6
  • Miscellaneous Plastics (Other) Grade 7 


Each plastic has a different way of being recycled, there are variations in the way that different types of plastic are made and therefore there are a variety of ways in which those plastics can be broken down. Due to plastics – especially if they’re mixed with other materials – being so difficult to break down means that 91% of plastic isn’t recycled. When plastic isn’t recycled it is jettisoned, around 10 million tonnes of plastic is thrown into the ocean each year. Here are some statistics that will have you looking for sustainable solutions:

  • of fish caught for human consumption in the ocean have plastic in their systems
  • Scientists have now declared 200 zones as ‘dead zones’
  • Plastic has been found in the deepest ocean trenches and in the systems of the animals living there, this means that plastic is sinking to the ocean bed and disrupting the entire ecosystem from every angle
  • People who eat seafood are likely to eat 10,000 pieces of plastic per year
  • There are 66 times more plastic bottles than humans on the planet
  • Less than of plastic in the UK alone is recycled

Ocean bound plastic packaging accounts for 80% of plastic found in the ocean. Ocean bound plastic is categorized in the following categories by Ocean Bound Plastic Cert:

  • Potential – within 50km of the shoreline
  • Waterways – in rivers or within 200m of a river
  • Shoreline – within 200m of the sea
  • Fishing Material – used fishing gear and plastic bycatch

The issues relating to plastic in the sea could be reversed by using marine plastic as a material for your company’s business packaging – not to mention your brand’s products. Ocean plastic is already being used for products such as the Got Bag backpack, Norton Point sunglasses, 4ocean bracelets, Sea Bag bags. Ocean plastic can be used to make your primary and secondary packaging 100% sustainable without compromising on the quality.


For more information on how BPAK can give you sustainable, ethical packaging options follow this link to a list of our top 5 eco materials. As a packaging solutions and services provider BPAK understands the importance of offering materials and service alternatives that suit all of our clients and benefit the environment in a positive way.