Our operations are fully dedicated to rescue and upcycle plastic waste materials into high-performance polymers and high-quality products while creating long-lasting social and environmental impact in the Riau Islands, Indonesia. But how exactly we do that? To answer this question, we've broken our processes into six steps which are fully managed by our own local teams...
STEP 1: COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
As a result of weaker waste management systems and lack of education, about 300 tons of plastic waste per day are littered on Batam island, in Indonesia; communities on the island suffer from a build-up of ocean-bound litter together with the natural habitats of countless precious specious in the waterways and the indopacific Ocean as well as on land.
Our Community Development strategy is to build waste management services in critical areas that litter our oceans. To do that, we build recycling drop-off points with international and local partners and organize local cleanups, gatherings to educate and raise awareness about waste problem.
STEP 2: COLLECTING
Our collection activities are broken into three main streams: drop-off stations in communities where local collectors are being paid above the market rate for the material they bring in as well as direct pick-up service from businesses and ocean clean ups. We also engage with schools, non-profit organizations to collect plastic waste.
STEP 3: SORTING
In this step, we collaborate with Batam Bank Sampah (Waste Bank) - an inititative that is fully run by local female communities with aim to reduce waste pollution in communities. We have different ways of collaborating with Bank Sampah locations. For instance, a local business collects plastic waste and donate it to a Bank Sampah location where waste is sorted by color and material type. Then, Free The Sea purchases the material from Bank Sampah.
STEP 4: RECYCLING
Single-used plastic waste materials are processed into FTS Rescued Plastic® flakes after sorting, shredding, cleaning and drying processes.
STEP 5: COMPOUNDING
FTS Rescued Plastic® flakes are upcycled in a special compounding process to a new high-performance polymers. During compounding process, our locally collected plastic flakes are blended with recycled engineering resins in a secret formula created by Free The Sea R&D team. All ingredients in a formula go through a pre-blending, extrusion and post-blending processes. We call our upcycled resins ''FTS Circular Compound''. We are proud to have developed a formula that tolerates a contamination level that would not have allowed common recycling processes (basically what you find after the material has been lying on beaches etc). Therefore we are in fact rescuing this material from its fate of either slowly decaying in our oceans and being consumed by its precious species, landfills or illegal, uncontrolled incineration.
STEP 6: CONVERTING
Our high-performance FTS Circular Compound resins are sent to our mother company WIK Group, one of the world-leading manufacturers for home appliances. At WIK, our Circular Compounds are converted into high-quality home appliances such as coffee machines and water dispensers.
Where the majority of the material is short lived and low value plastic packaging material, it is now entering the cycle of longevity applications.