MARINE CONSERVATION AND EDUATION CENTER
Here at the Innoceana Marine Conservation and Education Center (MCEC) in Ojochal, Costa Rica, our team of biologists, engineers, scuba divers and passionate ocean advocates, are working around the clock to protect our oceans. We strive for a world where plastic waste is treated as a precious commodity, generating sustainable growth for remote coastal communities. Our goal is to set up a community recycling workspace at the MCEC. This recycling operation will create new income streams for people living in the Southern Zone while cleaning our oceans of plastic pollution.
ABOUT PRECIOUS PLASTIC
Precious Plastic is a project launched in 2013 by Dave Hakkens in order to recycle plastic. It relies on a series of machines and tools that grind, melt and inject recycled plastic, creating new products on a small scale.
What’s really great is that Precious Plastic is an open-source online platform that enables people to start their own recycling projects to tackle the plastic waste problem within their own communities. The Precious Plastic community is made up of over 600 organizations globally that are already using the machines, techniques and knowledge to turn plastic waste into new products locally.
THE CURRENT PROBLEM
Sadly, Costa Rica suffers from the side effects of the overconsumption of plastics, of which very little is recycled. As a result, 11 million tons of plastic are dumped into the oceans every year. It is estimated that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. We have witnessed first hand, the direct impacts of plastic waste on marine life. Our documentary ‘Entangled’ details the rescue, conducted by our team, of a female humpback whale and her calf that were entangled in a fishing net.
HOW WE WILL DO IT
Our next big project at the MCEC is to create a workspace inspired from the Precious Plastic initiative and its machines. Every month we collect an average 60 to 100 kg of trash during beach cleanups, sometimes even more from the ocean! The funds raised from this campaign will go towards the initial startup fee for this project, which includes the purchase of the machines (i.e. shredder and injector), essential tools, product molds, and shipping costs. We will begin to build and maintain the Precious Plastic machine in the MCEC workshop space the second quarter of 2023.
LONG TERM IMPACT
With the country’s economy dominated by the tourism industry, many of the country’s residents often have few options for financial independence. Our intention is for this project to build a circular economy by generating revenue streams, local employment opportunities and improvement of the environmental situation. By supporting us, you will be helping the MCEC with recycling machines that can later be replicated in other parts of the country to strengthen economic development and empower coastal communities.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Help us on our mission to create a recycling workspace to reduce the amount of plastic in our local beaches and empowering communities! There are many ways you can get involved
- Donate to this campaign to directly fund the creation of a community Recycling Workspace
- Share this campaign with your network to help us reach more people
- Volunteer at our monthly clean ups
- Remember to #ReduceReuseRecycle before buying something new
THE PRECIOUS PLASTIC CYCLE
Turning collected plastic waste into usable items requires some preparation. It must be sorted, cleaned and shredded before it is ready to pass through the injector where it will be transformed into a new, sellable goods. Our team will showcase the recycling process to people from the community, spreading awareness about ocean plastic pollution and recycling.
MEET OUR RECYCLING AMBASSADORS
We strongly believe in the potential of plastic recycling to stimulate positive social impact. The first step towards change is raising awareness about the problem. How do we raise awareness about plastic recycling? By creating a squad of Recycling Ambassadors. Our amazing Recycling Ambassadors are helping us create awareness about the potential of plastic to create new income streams and improve the environmental situation in the Osa Peninsula.
Chloe is a fifth-year student majoring in mechanical engineering at the University of Technology of Compiègne, in France. In March of 2023 she will be joining us at the MCEC Innoceana in Costa Rica to build the Precious Plastic machine to fulfill her dream of addressing the global climate issue.
Sam Reidy is no stranger to swimming amongst the plastic waste that plague our oceans. As a Carbon Neutral professional surfer, Sam wants to use his platform in the surfing world to help bring change to the plastic issue in his local community and spread awareness.
Destiny Evelyn Wagner is the first contestant from Belize to ever win the title of Miss Earth in 2021 and established a non-profit called "Operation Kingdom." As an Earth-Warrior, she advocates for the sustainability of marine life and conservation of our natural resources.
Brisa Hennessy was raised in the dense jungle of Costa Rica by her surf instructor parents. Her eventual finish as the World No. 11 in her first year helped her qualify to represent Costa Rica at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games. She is likely to become a big name in the surfing world!