At Hawkers Trading we believe businesses are uniquely positioned to make a significant impact on the environment, be it for good or bad.
Since we all only have one earth, Hawkers Trading has made it our mission to help make this planet healthier and have focused our efforts around the removal of plastic from oceans. Simply said, if our oceans cease to be vibrant humanity will no longer be able to exist. It is for that reason we make a contribution to The Ocean Cleanup for each item that is ordered from our store.
How significant is the plastic littering our waterways?
Every year, millions of tons of plastic enter the oceans, of which the majority spills out from rivers. A portion of this plastic travels to ocean garbage patches, getting caught in a vortex of circulating currents. If no action is taken, the plastic will increasingly impact our ecosystems, health, and economies.
It is estimated that 1.15 to 2.41 million tons of plastic are entering the ocean each year from rivers. More than half of this plastic is less dense than the water, meaning that it will not sink once it encounters the sea.
The stronger, more buoyant plastics show resiliency in the marine environment, allowing them to be transported over extended distances. They persist at the sea surface as they make their way offshore, transported by converging currents and finally accumulating in the patch.
Once these plastics enter the gyre, they are unlikely to leave the area until they degrade into smaller microplastics under the effects of sun, waves and marine life. As more and more plastics are discarded into the environment, microplastic concentration in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch will only continue to increase.
The mass of the plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch was estimated to be approximately 80,000 tons, which is 4-16 times more than previous calculations. This weight is also equivalent to that of 500 Jumbo Jets.
The center of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has the highest density and the further boundaries are the least dense. When quantifying the mass of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, only the denser center area was measured. If the less-dense outer region was also considered in the total estimate, the total mass would then be closer to 100,000 tons.
A total of 1.8 trillion plastic pieces were estimated to be floating in the patch – a plastic count that is equivalent to 250 pieces of debris for every human in the world.
Out of sight, out of mind, right?
While we wish it was that easy, in reality ocean plastics slowly disintegrate. The disintegrated micro-plastics are eaten by birds and sea life. Over time these plastics make their way through the food chain and into the bodies of humans. In essence, we are consuming portions of the plastics other humans discarded years earlier.
For those who are vegan and vegetarian, the sea plastic is still dangerous. This is because birds and sea life that consume plastic often fill their stomachs with so much plastic they are no longer able to take in enough nourishment to sustain themselves.
Why The Ocean Cleanup?
The Ocean Cleanup is a non-profit organization developing advanced technologies to rid the oceans of plastic. To achieve this objective, they work on a combination of closing the source and cleaning up what has already accumulated in the ocean and doesn’t go away by itself. This goal means they plan to put themselves out of business. Here at Hawkers Trading we aren’t in the habit of putting companies out of business, yet we hope our contributions help do exactly that with The Ocean Cleanup.