Working towards eliminating plastic in our oceans requires the cooperation of everyone who depends on the oceans for our continued, sustainable survival, which is pretty much everyone on the planet.
However, the global fishing industry is one of the groups most directly impacted by the health of our oceans. They depend on these oceans for their livelihood, and each year, plastic pollution continues to impact both small, local groups of fishermen as well as commercial fishing operations.
To incentivize people working in the fishing and marine industries to use best practices when it comes to the use and disposal of plastic fishing gear and supplies, as well as actively involve them in ongoing plastic cleanup efforts, RIO is implementing the Fishing and Marine Industry Plastic Program to support fishing businesses in our collective commitment to cleaner oceans.
How it works:
- Prior to departure, a fishing vessel logs the plastics they intend to use on their current excursion.
- When they return, RIO tracks the materials they have returned with.
- All plastic that needs to be disposed of is dropped off in designated RIO collection bins. This can be everything from disposable plastic supplies brought out on their journey to “rogue plastic” they collect while out at sea, including trash, legacy fishing gear such as lost nets, and any other trash they might find floating in the ocean.
- RIO provides certification for the business demonstrating plastic neutrality and commitment with RIO to keep the oceans clean and healthy.
This program provides an support for fishing companies to do their part in managing plastic waste because RIO will be there to help track plastic use and make the disposal of plastic waste easy, so they can get back to work quickly without having to hunt down proper disposal facilities for the waste they collect.
The Benefits of the Program
In 1972, the U.S. passed the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act, which put into place some of the most thorough restrictions in the world when it comes to waste of all types being left in our oceans.
Since then, fishing companies have been quietly doing their part to keep the oceans free of waste, especially eliminating the use of things like “driftnets” and other dangerous plastic gear. However, the EPA does not provide any monitoring, tracking, or public recognition for the fishing companies doing their part to keep our oceans clean.
RIO is looking to change that by providing companies that participate in our program with a globally recognized "Plastic Neutral" certification that shows they are doing their part to keep our oceans free of plastic.
Additionally, while the U.S. has put strict ocean dumping regulations in place, other world governments do not necessarily hold the same standards. RIO wants to step in and provide eco-conscious fishing companies worldwide with the resources and recognition they need to be a part of the global fishing community that is taking an active stance against plastic pollution.
The goal is to provide a globally recognized "Plastic Neutral" certification that shows governments, businesses, and consumers how these fishing companies are working hard to reverse the effects of plastic waste on our oceans by going above and beyond to not only manage their own plastic waste but actively collect waste they encounter in the oceans while doing their work.
Seafood is the largest traded food commodity in the world. Over 30% of the world relies on fish and seafood as their main source of protein (in some Asian countries the percentage increases to 70-80%) and the fishing industry relies on clean and healthy oceans to provide this valuable resource. We want to help support this vital industry by providing them the waste management support they need.
Small steps lead to big change, and to reduce the impact of plastics on our oceans, we all need to keep moving forward one small step at a time.
You can help stop plastic pollution in our oceans by purchasing products from companies dedicated to producing plastic-free, sustainable products. RIO not only helps you stock up on sustainable goods but is also dedicated to using the proceeds to rid our oceans of plastic once and for all.