[00:00:00] Liz Bothwell: Hi everyone, welcome to Waste360's NothingWasted! Podcast. On every episode, we invite the most interesting people in waste recycling and organics to sit down with us and chat candidly about their thoughts, their work, this unique industry and so much more. Thanks for listening and enjoy this episode.
[00:00:26] Liz: Hi everyone. This is Liz Bothwell from Waste360 with Ryan Schoenike, Co-founder of OceanCycle. Hi, Ryan, thanks for being on the show.
[00:00:35] Ryan Schoenike: Hey, Liz, how are you? Thanks so much for having us.
[00:00:37] Liz: I'm so glad you're here. Normally, Ryan, we start at the beginning. Please, tell me about how you ended up fighting to keep plastics out of the ocean.
[00:00:46] Ryan: Yes. At the beginning, right? Long, long story. I think if I were to trace back my roots of being interested in waste and pollution issues, it actually would go back to the sixth grade, when back at that time one of the major environmental problems we were all worried about was landfills filling up with things like bags and not going away, paper bags and those types of things.
We started in a science class, me and a group of people started a reusable lunch bag program where we would make and sell reusable bags, and then people would use those instead of using single-use plastic bags. You could say I always had an interest in environmental issues, sustainability issues, and consumption issues with ocean plastics and ocean plastic pollution. In particular, had been aware of the issue for many years, but really began around 2015.
At that point, we didn't know a lot about ocean plastic pollution, but a woman named Dr. Jenna Jambeck at the University of Georgia had just released a study about plastic pollution, how much plastic is in the water, how does it end up in the water, I saw that and it got me even more interested in the issue. Ultimately, it started one of my first efforts, which was an eyewear company with a friend where we made sunglasses out of ocean-bound plastics. From there just began to work in the issue more and more, and ultimately ended up where we're at OceanCycle.
[00:02:34] Liz: That's amazing, you started so young, how impressive is that? I love it.
[00:02:40] Ryan: Yes. It was an interesting thing to do at that age, for sure.
[00:02:46] Liz: Now, you're at OceanCycle. Please, tell me more about what OceanCycle does.
[00:02:51] Ryan: Sure. OceanCycle, we're a US-based company, we're what's known here in the US as a public benefit corporation. That means that we are a company who established with a social mission, we truly have a dual bottom line. We have a mission that we adhere to in everything we do, it drives the core of our activities. The general mission we established in OceanCycle was to reduce plastic pollution flowing into the ocean.
We approached that problem and have approached that problem in a number of ways, but I would say that the two core things we do, what we're most known for is that we developed and operate a chain of custody certification for ocean and ocean-bound plastics. The way that works is that we certify recyclers in developing countries, we work with them to trace their material down to point of collection, and then develop a documented chain of custody from that collection point up through production, processing, and shipment. Ultimately, we can trace the containers of material back to their points of origin.
When we look at the ocean plastic issue, it is primarily a land-based issue. 90% of the plastic in the water is coming from land. We really have a core focus on the ocean-bound plastic and capturing plastic before it gets into the water. The way we define and look at ocean-bound plastic is taking some insight from that Jambeck paper that I mentioned. We define it as plastic waste collected from within 30 miles of the coastline in an area that lacks a formal waste management system.
Everywhere we're working is informal waste management, it's not organized by a local government or a national government at any scale. It's all local entrepreneurs and people working to manage these waste issues. Within the certification, we have a pretty extensive social baseline in monitoring process where we approve and audit all collection points within a network that we work in.
Then, the other piece of OceanCycle is that we will interface and work directly with brands who are looking to use ocean-bound plastics in their products. That could be helping on messaging and story development, it could be helping on engaging in the communities where the waste is collected. It could be helping on supply chain integration, but we really run the gamut. As a company, we don't sell material, we don't make any products ourselves. We really look at ourselves as a third party in the space.
[00:05:32] Liz: Got it. Okay. You don't necessarily have to mention any names, but can you walk through how you've helped a brand? Because, like you said, your model touches on so many parts of the value chain. Can you talk about how you've walked a brand through that?
[00:05:50] Ryan: Yes, absolutely. Certainly, we work with quite a number of brands, quite a number of the CPGs out there, we have some great partners. We're very much a partnership model because we're not selling material, we're not shipping material, and we're not making products. We look to partner with all those that are in that value chain.
Probably, one of our biggest partners or our biggest partners is a brand called Prevented Ocean Plastic. They are definitely the largest user of ocean-bound materials out there, we certify all the material in their supply chain. Really, in the UK is where they're most prevalent, but you will see them working with companies here in the US like ZenWTR, who's a newly launched bottled water brand who does a hundred percent ocean-bound bottles in partnership with us, and Prevented Ocean Plastic. Then you'll find Prevented Ocean Plastic fish trays and chicken trays in most of the major grocery stores in the UK and Europe.
The process is a lot of education for the brands, we spend a lot of time talking with them about how waste is collected in these countries, how we monitor that collection, how we engage and give back into these communities. In addition, we work with another company, a larger company called Bunzl. I think people would know Bunzl as a household name, but they are a huge company, they do logistics and distribution services for most of the major big box stores, a lot of food, and other retail.
They essentially provide everything to these stores that you can't buy, all the things these stores need to operate. As part of that, they provide a lot of bags, a lot of reusable bags into these stores. They had wanted to make a bag out of ocean-bound plastics, but they're really accustomed to going to contract manufacturing to one of their partners overseas and saying, "Hey, we want this bag, we'd like it to look like this. This is the price range we're trying to do", and they'll come back with quotes and options.
Bunzl really has not spent a lot of time or has a lot of experience in getting the fabric made, the yarns made, or all those types of things. In that case, they brought us in and we helped them figure out that supply chain, how the yarn and fabrics could be made. Now, they're selling bags with OceanCycle certified materials to grocery stores here in the US like all the Albertsons shops, you'll find some more of their bags in Macy's as well.
[00:08:45] Liz: That's great. Ryan, how can consumers feel confident when they do buy products with that certification label on it?
[00:08:56] Ryan: We have a pretty extensive process where we're pretty open and transparent with the process, we have a list of standards that the suppliers and that the recyclers are meant to adhere to. We're really involved in the communities, we are a certification and we operate a certification, but we really use certification as a way to reduce ocean plastic pollution and improve lives in coastal communities.
It's our tool to do that. With that, we're adhering to really high standards. I think that the brands and the companies that we work with, they definitely put us through the wringer when it comes to compliance and auditing. I think that's a big piece of it.
[00:09:49] Liz: That's huge, it sounds like you do a lot of actual work on the ground. How important is that?
[00:09:58] Ryan: It's the most important, I think. This whole chain, everything starts with the people on the ground collecting the material, collecting the waste. Oftentimes you find that those are folks who are living in the margins, using plastic waste as a way to make all their living, or subsidize their income.
It's really important that we engage in those communities and that we know what's going on in those communities. Because, ultimately, if you don't have a healthy collector community, you don't have the supply chain. You don't have the material. We do our best to understand what's going on in those communities and give back into those communities. Making sure that there there's food and water in times of need for sure.
[00:10:46] Liz: That's so great. Can you paint a picture of what life is like for some of these waste pickers in the communities you're working in?
[00:10:56] Ryan: Yes. First, it's a really a hard job. You're collecting waste and going around, oftentimes, in countries that are quite hot and humid, either carrying that material yourself or putting that material on your bike or your scooter, and bringing it to a place where you can sell that material. Much like we might get up and do emails all day or be on phone calls, they're up and they're out there collecting plastic, five, six, seven days a week to make a living.
It can be difficult of course, because plastic is a commodity and recycled plastic has been a commodity that's been under a lot of pressure lately. In terms of price, virgin plastic has dropped below the price of recycle. The pricing has been crunched and ultimately, the people at the bottom are getting crunched when it comes to how much money they're able to make. That's part of the reason that we introduced the certification.
We feel it's a way, again, to understand what's going on in these communities but by developing this on a business basis, we are able to add a bit of a premium to that material and keep these networks functioning.
[00:12:13] Liz: Absolutely. That's great. What do you say to critics who claim that this is not a US problem, the plastics?
[00:12:22] Ryan: The US is the number one consumer of plastic. We recycle about four percent of our plastics maybe, right now, maybe nine. We've brought plastic to the world for sure. Plastics are important. It's especially important in these communities where there's no potable water. To be safe, you drink from bottled water, which is the majority of the waste we're seeing and collecting out there. It certainly is a US problem.
It's something that we've helped bring to the world and I think we have a responsibility to help them deal with that waste. It's easy for us to say because we have advanced and we have waste management systems. While we might not recycle a high percentage of our waste, we have curbside collection. There's networks that you can put your trash in a bin and someone will come collect it once a week. It's not really like that out there.
Listen, we're still sending a lot of our waste overseas, so it certainly is a huge problem. I believe there was a recent study by Dr. Jambeck and some others that showed that the US and the UK are number one when it comes to plastic, and we export out the most. It would be hard to say it's not our problem.
[00:13:42] Liz: Absolutely. How has the pandemic affected your work?
[00:13:46] Ryan: In a number of ways. Obviously, we like to be involved in these communities and know what's going on. The number one, it's difficult to travel out to them. It's difficult for us to see as much on the ground. Although there have been some benefits of that because as we've grown, it's allowed us to grow our presence and the people that we have in the field. That's been good.
I think, initially, when we saw the pandemic, the pressure was really, again, in these communities. The demand, initially, for material dropped. Which means that people who were collecting and using it to make a living, didn't have the ability to sell as much. Or everyone was shut down because we weren't sure what was going to happen with the pandemic and we were all nervous. I think it really affected those communities.
We did our best to support with food, protective gear, and stuff like that because a lot of the people didn't have the option to stop collecting. We had to make sure that they were safe and healthy, and did a little bit of that work. You've now seen crunches in global shipping as a result of the pandemic so it's made a lot of the collection more difficult. It's brought prices up a bit, in terms of the shipping costs and those types of things.
It's certainly been more difficult, but I will say that, as we appear to be coming out of the pandemic, the interest for this type of material, the interest in what's going on in these communities is huge. It's exploding for sure.
[00:15:25] Liz: That's great. That's good to hear. I saw a couple of videos that you've done, and they were great to really show what's happening in the countries that you're working in. How's the education part going in those countries?
[00:15:41] Ryan: I think it just depends. I think you're probably referring to some of the ones we posted on Instagram with my business partner and Co-founder, Robert Goodwin. He has been our COVID road warrior for sure. He's been out. He did make some efforts to go out into the field late last year, and touch base with a lot of our partners out there. Also, look on how we can expand the collection as we come out of the pandemic and improve collection, even.
Yes, I think the education just depends on the community. As an example, in Indonesia, where those videos were shot, there is these informal networks of plastic collection, sales, and those types of things. People do recognize that there's value for plastic, so there are people out collecting it, developing the supply chains and those types of things. We can talk about this a little bit more, but the hard part is getting at some of those lower-value plastics, the films, and those types of things.
In those communities, I think, there's a lot of knowledge. There's certainly education that does need to go on sometimes in what plastics and how clean the plastics are. But a lot of times these local collection centers are going to post what they collect. They work with collectors to make them understand that if you sell cleaner material, we'll give you a better price for it. Those types of things.
You go into a place like that and it's a matter of, "How can we map this system? How can we make sure that there are the proper checks and traceability in place?" Then, surveying and finding out what do they need to improve. In some cases, maybe they need a covered area for sorting or drying the plastic. Because you have the wet and dry season in a place like Indonesia. In the dry season, plastic dries great out in the open in the sun.
In the wet season, not so much. Understanding those needs and what those communities' needs are part of what we do. Education, we are about to take a trip over to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to look at some of the plastic waste management over there. As we understand, there's not really a lot. That people don't understand that plastic has a value.
In that case, it's a whole different system of how do you get the word out, and how do you establish collection points so that the people in the community know there's a value for plastic, and they can bring it in, sell it, and get money for it. It varies depending on the place you're in.
[00:18:30] Liz: I bet. I would like to dive a little bit into low-value plastics, that seems to be an issue worldwide. What are you seeing on the ground?
[00:18:39] Ryan: They're the hardest plastics to get. They're the hardest plastics to collect because they are lower value and because the people who collect these plastics, they're smart and they're savvy. They are not going to spend twice as long, maybe even more, collecting the same weight value in these films as they could with a PET bottle or some other drink container.
That is part of the problem, is that the value for these materials when they're recycled is low. Then the price of virgin is even lower so it's very difficult to develop a sustainable business model that doesn't have to be subsidized right now. We do think that, and we do some work in this space that once you can establish a profitable value chain and business model for some of the higher value plastic, it gives you the opportunity to get at some of those low-value plastics because those networks are out there, and you have people who understand and know how to collect.
Ultimately, we have to send the right price signals to those folks, that it is worth their time to collect that material. That is, I think, more of a function of the market and the people who would want to buy that on the secondary market, the recycled market.
[00:20:04] Liz: Right. Are you seeing different types of low-value plastic being produced in certain areas that would not be produced in the US?
[00:20:15] Ryan: You see a lot of the sachets and those types of things, the beat. It ultimately comes down to a function of people's income because they don't necessarily make a lot or have a lot of extra money there when they buy things like shampoo or soaps. They're often buying them in these small packages in sachets because it's cheaper. Ultimately, in the long run, it's more expensive because they're having to continue to buy these smaller packets. But they buy them in those sachets and then there's not really a disposal system.
Ultimately, they end up on the ground or maybe they're burned. Obviously, their burning has a lot of really bad effects as well, but we see a lot of those. You see a lot of this multi-layer packaging that's also really hard to recycle in those sachets. Sometimes, in cases, you see little sachets are almost like water packets because they're cheaper than buying a larger bottle of water. You'll see that kind of stuff. You see a lot of these cups, almost.
They're like water cups. It's a cup and then on top of that it has a film, you put a straw through it and drink it. Those are pretty prevalent and you see a lot of those.
One of the issues that's been getting a lot of attention or was getting a lot of attention a couple of months ago was all the pollution on the beaches in Bali and in Indonesia. If you look at those photos, you'll actually see just tons of these cups. There're the cups, they've got these films, they're very hard to recycle because the film is different than the cup and there's glue around the film. You've got to get that all off if you want to make it recyclable. You see a lot of that, a lot of packaging design for a cost that we don't necessarily see here in the US for sure.
[00:22:24] Liz: I bet. Do you think the education is helping on the ground?
[00:22:32] Ryan: The people know of the problem when they see it. They live it. The people who collect know that like, "Hey, these cups, we might be able to get some value out of this cup because it's a heavier plastic and more of a sought-after material. But getting this film off the top is a lot of work and it's very difficult to do." That throws off what they can get for the material. I think, is it a question of educating them or educating those who are producing the packaging?
I think it might be the latter, because the people will figure out ways to do it. They'll figure out innovative ways to maybe make building materials out of it. Which, again, they're burning in open pits and melting down in open pits. I think, ultimately, they don't have a lot of choice on a day-to-day basis about, "Do I buy this plastic or that plastic?" They have to buy what they can afford and they have to buy what's available.
I think it's more of an education for those who are putting that packaging in the market than the people who are ultimately apt to collect it just to keep their environment clean.
[00:23:45] Liz: Absolutely. I know we struggle in the US with EPR, but some countries in Europe were doing a good job, some areas of Asia. I know you're working in undeveloped countries, but is there any momentum with EPR happening anywhere that you're working?
[00:24:08] Ryan: Yes, I think you're seeing proposals for sure, because I think they're all exploring how can we manage this waste and how can we create revenue streams or money to help us manage this waste. You see these pictures and volume, you go around to a lot of these places, especially ones where they're still accepting our trash. You just have these huge dumps and there's plastic everywhere. I think they're struggling with how they can manage that.
We work in several countries, but Indonesia is a great example because it's this island nation. It's so hard to do some sort of uniform policy. I would say that, in terms of policies, they are extremely helpful. As I mentioned, we have this great partner in Prevented Ocean Plastic who's doing a lot of great stuff in Europe and the UK. Most of that is driven by this 30% recycled content minimum that I believe is coming into effect. I want to say it's next year, but I could be wrong on that. That has driven a lot of the demand for the material we certify. It's been very helpful for some of the recyclers in Indonesia, especially during the pandemic.
I think one of the only recyclers that was running in Indonesia was the partner that we work with there, who was selling to the Prevented Ocean Plastic program. I think those policies are extremely helpful. If the US had a recycled content minimum, it would, one, change how much we have to recycle here. Two, because our plastic appetite is so large, it would force us to look outside for material. That would hopefully drive some more demand, which can drive more infrastructure and collection in these countries, and ultimately less pollution.
[00:26:05] Liz: Definitely. It surely has an impact. I know you're a part of Dave Ford's organization and the Ocean Leadership Network. He's just, it seems, really getting momentum going for some sort of Paris Agreement for plastics. Are you optimistic about this? Do you think this can happen in the one-year timeframe that everyone is hoping for? Or is it a longer-term initiative that we just all have to be patient about?
[00:26:38] Ryan: Yes, Dave and the Ocean Plastics Leadership Network are great. I think they're doing a lot of great work. It's certainly been impressive to see how fast they've been able to build just a huge base of support in companies and organizations across the spectrum involved. I think we just actually had the initial calls among the membership about these global treaty dialogues last week. It sounds like it's just getting going. I would love to think that it's going to happen in a year timeframe. I don't know, when you're bringing in so many different players and so many different opinions that might be a little aggressive to think of that.
But you never know, if we can not only get the leadership of some of these big corporations to agree on some binding and some real steps, we could move pretty quickly. Then, ultimately, if we can get the US as the government to get behind it, it could move. I've mentioned a few times we're the number one consumer and, ultimately, the number one polluter. We have a huge responsibility, and without our movement here in the States, it's going to be hard to do anything big globally.
[00:27:58] Liz: Absolutely. I'm hopeful too, putting a stake in the ground and saying, "We want this to be reviewed in a year" and having all these stakeholders together, hopefully, the momentum will keep going and progress will be made there. I know we talked a lot, Ryan, about the informal waste industry that you deal with on a regular basis. Is there anything that you think waste and recycling professionals in North American can do to help with this challenge of plastics?
[00:28:31] Ryan: Yes, I think. Certainly, there's expertise in recycling systems that I think could be used, and it does. There's great is going in and setting up great infrastructure. There's always the debate, I think, especially, and you hear it a lot of it on these global treaty dialogues about, "Is recycling the solution? Will it work? Why are we focusing on infrastructure?" Our view is that, whatever you think about the future of plastic, it's pretty clear that there is a plastic pollution problem in these countries right now, and they don't have enough infrastructure.
Infrastructure is certainly a needed first step in a lot of these places. I think providing some of the expertise, maybe when it comes to the processing of plastics would be helpful. I don't know how much this is the industry or just our policies, but we could stop sending our garbage overseas, which might force us here to deal with it in a better way. Then, ultimately, we would see less pollution in these countries. That could be a big one.
I think it always helps to engage. What we see is that if there a demand for this material, there's a huge one, we always start with demand. Whether it's the recycling industry or ultimately the companies who are buying those materials, buying and using ocean-bound plastics from these places actually creates the systems and the incentives to collect that material. The more demand there is for an ocean-bound plastic, the more we're going to be able to get off to keep out of the ocean and, ultimately, the more income we're going to generate into these local communities, for sure.
[00:30:27] Liz: Absolutely. Speaking of end markets and creating that demand, are you seeing more brands come to you and want that content, and/or help with their sustainability goals?
[00:30:41] Ryan: Yes, I would say there's probably not a CPG, large, small, large and medium that we haven't talked to. There's definitely a lot of demand. I think there's a lot of wanting to understand how the material is collected. The ocean plastic, the pollution problem is understood enough where people understand that it's collected by hand, by people and it's just a people operation.
I think when you talk with the brands, there's a lot of checks and concerns about how do you ensure that these networks are safe, that they're not child labor, that they're not forced labor. Which is, of course, a big component of what we're doing in monitoring these networks and doing the surveys and baseline that we do. Yes, the interest is through the charts. We would definitely like to see more people follow up interest with buying material, but interest is there for sure.
[00:31:48] Liz: Okay, good. That's a start. Like you said, it's a human industry. We're all humans. We're all doing work and you're really seeing it on the ground in the developing countries. Do you think that you and the work you're doing and other people like you, are we elevating the perception of waste workers around the world? I was on that call with Ocean Leadership Plastics Network and I was in a workshop with a few people from India.
It seems so easy. That's the one thing we can all agree on, the 165 people who were invited to that.
Even when you think about the world, one thing we can all agree on is that we want to elevate that perception and we care about humans. Why isn't it easier to do? What can we do, even in North America, to help elevate the perception of these people and really help their stories be told?
[00:32:57] Ryan: I think it starts when you hear this and there's certainly some great groups on the call who were elevating this. We talk about it, our partners talk about it, others talk about it. The people who collect, sometimes they're called waste pickers., sometimes they were called ragpickers, all those types of things. We like to call them entrepreneurs because that's really what they are. In most cases, they're starting and running their own business and they're making a lot of those important decisions that you need to make on the ground.
I think, maybe, potentially reframing how we talk about the folks. They are the heroes of this movement. They're the base of the pyramid. Without those people on the ground working in these countries, nothing gets picked up. Nothing gets collected and all goes into the water or it all gets burned or something like that. I think giving them their proper due. We know a lot about these networks, but there's still a lot that's not understood or cataloged. How big are these networks, how many people are actually working in them. That type of thing would be good to know.
If we really want to help those people, we got to help create the systems so that there is plastic collection. At OceanCycle, we're a [unintelligible 00:34:20]. We really would like to work ourselves out of business, for sure. If we can use the demand for this type of material to create infrastructure and turn that into, ultimately someday, a non-informal system that operates in a better way, that would be great. Certainly, there's things to think about because if you're transitioning from formal to informal, how do you make sure that people who have been doing the work for decades are not left behind and make sure they're involved?
Ultimately, it's demand. If we, in the US, demand more ocean-bound material or demand that the companies who use plastic are using ocean-bound material, they're going to have to go and source out at these places. Ultimately, that's going to allow companies like us and our partners and the people we work with on the ground to improve the infrastructure, to increase the amount of money that's paid for these materials at the collection level, and I think that's going to drive the best overall improvement.
[00:35:29] Liz: Definitely. Tell me, what's next for you and for OceanCycle?
[00:35:36] Ryan: I think we're going to keep going. OceanCycle, I think one of the things we're really proud of is that we were the first company to really be in the certification space for ocean-bound plastics, bringing transparency and trust into the market. We're the largest certifier in material. We do 12 to 1500 tons every month and we're really growing. I think we're focused on growing our presence. We're growing to five additional countries right now.
We're focused on working with the users and the partners to make sure that they're telling the best story about their brand, focused on working in these communities and making sure that, ultimately, things are improving there. As mentioned, we've got a lot of interest. We're trying to make sure that when these big brands do say, "Hey, we're ready to pull the trigger", and some of them have, that we're ready with the base of material. We certainly have a good amount right now, but always could have more sources for sure.
[00:36:50] Liz: Absolutely. Hopefully, you'll get more aid in that down the road too. This has been such a great conversation, Ryan, is there anything else you want to share before I let you go about your busy day?
[00:37:03] Ryan: I think one of the things that we at OceanCycle and our partners, we like to focus on working with procurement departments often. Because what we're hoping to do is get these brands to make this, not marketing departments, and make a decision based on material and based on something that they can incorporate into their supply chain on an ongoing basis. I think that's one of the big things and keys that we do, is we really try to engage the procurement folks and get them on board. Because that's going to drive the sustained purchasing and change that we want, for sure.
[00:37:43] Liz: Definitely. Do you find that you start with a brand person or a marketing person because this is under their world, then you end up working with a procurement person? Or how does that usually go in terms of info?
[00:37:56] Ryan: We typically go the other way. A lot of times we're starting with the procurement folks and then working our way up to the marketing folks. Because, again, what we want to do is we want brands to be able to incorporate this inherent purpose in what they're doing every day. There's certainly marketing value to it. There's no question about that, but we want the initial value to be with what they're doing, with what the procurement is doing.
We want the people at the company to feel that value and then, "Hey, there's a great story to tell about that too. Definitely make sure you do that, but let's start and make sure it's a material that you can incorporate every day across all your products".
[00:38:39] Liz: Absolutely. This has been great. I'm so grateful for the work you're doing on the ground, the people you are helping to elevate, and the material that you're helping to move. I think this is awesome. And the material you're keeping out of the ocean. I love a lot of your videos where you really state that 80% of the plastic comes from land so, yes, it's an ocean problem and we have to clean up what's there, but let's also try to stop putting so much on the ground.
[00:39:09] Ryan: Absolutely. Yes. Thank you. Thank you for helping us tell the story more and elevate the work that we're doing. We really are grateful to beyond in tell more about the work that we're doing, and really the work that the people on the ground are doing. I think we're just helping to create systems that make that easier for brands and companies to use. Ultimately the people who are doing the hard work are the people collecting the plastic and processing it, and recycling it on a daily basis. We hope to continue to support them as we move forward for sure. Yes, thanks so much for having us on.
[00:39:44] Liz: Thank you- Please keep in touch, I want to just follow you guys and see how your journey continues and the important work you're doing. Thank you for listening. It would mean the world if you would take a moment to rate or review this podcast. If you share it with us on one of our social networks, we are giving out some fun NothingWasted Podcast swag. Just tag us and see what you get. Thanks so much.