Bantam Materials becomes first recycled plastic supplier to join the ethical trading initiative

Bantam Materials, the supplier of Prevented Ocean Plastic, says the move demonstrates the urgent need for methods to help halt ocean plastic pollution

Today, Bantam Materials, the supplier of Prevented Ocean Plastic, announced it has joined the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) as part of its ambition to drive up standards for recycled packaging products. It is the first recycled plastic business to be accepted to the leading alliance of companies, trade unions and NGOs that promotes respect for workers’ rights around the globe.

As members of ETI, Bantam Materials will apply an internationally recognised framework to its unique supply chain structure, aligning with best practice within ethical trade. Bantam Materials will share insights from its own work, as well as have the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with fellow members operating in other sectors. 

Bantam Materials’ hero product is Prevented Ocean Plastic, certified recycled plastic that has been collected from coastal areas in developing countries that are at risk of ocean plastic pollution. In addition to meeting all regulatory health and safety standards, each batch of Prevented Ocean Plastic is traceable back to source which means it can be reliably verified as meeting the recognised criteria for being ‘ocean-bound’.

Over 10,000 tonnes of Prevented Ocean Plastic was delivered into the market in 2020, making it the largest programme of its kind. It also continues to grow quickly, passing the 20,000 tonne mark in Q3 2021. Customers including LIDL, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Booths Supermarket are key partners, along with major manufacturing partners such as Groupe Guillin and Berry Global for product offerings in fish, poultry, soft fruits, personal care and home products.

Prevented Ocean Plastic will be the priority focus for Bantam Materials during its first year of membership, with the whole organisation’s business practices forming part of the assessment for year two. In addition to gaining a greater understanding of its supply chain, including recognising its business impact on risks within its supply chain, membership of ETI will help to increase transparency around the real-life experiences of bottle collectors who are at the starting point of the supply chain.

Raffi Schieir, Director of Bantam Materials, said: Bantam Materials has always been committed to ensuring that Prevented Ocean Plastic is best-in-class recycled ocean bound plastic, pushing up standards wherever necessary. Our ETI membership is the latest step in our journey and comes in recognition that there is an urgent need to protect bottle collectors across developing countries as demand for recycled plastic builds, with each geographic location presenting its own unique challenges..”

Establishing the Prevented Ocean Plastic programme has bought with it a number of challenges, not least because ocean-bound plastics are notoriously the ‘Wild West’ of the recycling industry. Setting up the programme has meant creating unique methodologies to fit the ocean-bound industry, building strong supplier relationships to uphold standards and quality and thorough due diligence processes to ensure social standards throughout the supply chain.

Bantam Materials has put in place rigorous traceability practices and auditing requirements where previously access to supply chains has been limited. Data about the informal waste sector, which represents 60% of recycled plastic collection, is extremely limited with conditions varying from country-to-country and this is being addressed through a range of projects conducted by the Prevented Ocean Plastic research centre based in Richmond, London.

Kate Lewis, Head of Membership at ETI, said: “We are delighted to welcome Bantam Materials to Foundation membership at ETI. Bantam Materials brings a new emerging sector to ETI and we look forward to working with Bantam to further develop their work in ethical trade and human rights. This move sends an important signal to others in this sector about the importance of facing the issues head on and the advantages of working collaboratively with other sectors and peers.”

For more information about Bantam Materials visit www.bantamltd.com.

For more information about Prevented Ocean Plastic, visit www.preventedoceanplastic.com.

You can also find out more about ETI here: www.ethicaltrade.org.

Written by Kevin Gambrill

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