SEAQUAL Initiative & Upcycled Plastics: eco-fabrics against ocean plastic pollution
SEAQUAL INITIATIVE works with ocean clean-up programs around the world to transform the marine litter they recover into SEAQUAL® MARINE PLASTIC; a new, fully traceable raw material with the power to raise awareness of the issue of marine plastic pollution. In partnership with SEAQUAL, Upcycled Medical, the UK’s leading company providing uniforms and clothing to the medical sector, uses fabric from recycled post consumer plastic ocean and land waste.
The crisis of plastic pollution in our oceans has reached an alarming level, with over 430 million tonnes of plastic produced annually. The World Economic Forum reports that a significant portion of this – between 75 to 199 million tons – currently pollutes our oceans. According to Greenpeace, only 9% of the plastic manufactured today is recycled, 12% is incinerated, and 79% ends up in landfills or the environment. Plastic accounts for 80% of the pollution in the ocean. These plastics have the devastating effect of breaking down into microplastics, tiny particles that infiltrate the human food chain, posing a significant threat to both human and planetary health.
In response to this daunting challenge, Upcycled Medical and SEAQUAL Initiative are spearheading efforts to mitigate the impact of plastic waste. Faced with this emergency situation, SEAQUAL INITIATIVE was born as a unique collaborative community that works with NGOs, clean-up programs, activists, authorities and more to collect waste from the ocean, before it degrades into microplastics, in order to protect the environment and biodiversity from further damage.
Thanks to a completely vertical process and multidisciplinary supply chain, SEAQUAL INITIATIVE gives a new purpose to the collected marine plastic in the shape of a sustainable, 100% recycled textile solution: SEAQUAL® YARN. However, the biggest value behind this solution is their ESG approach, which aims to have a positive impact in the environment, to take care of the local communities and partners supporting their activity and to prioritize good practices and transparency above all.
Upcycled Medical uses threads such as SEAQUAL® YARN in the fabrics that it produces for the medical sector, one. Almost 14 million tonnes of plastic waste is created by this sector alone each year. Upcycled Medical’s end to end manufacturing approach goes beyond just recycling, aiming to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 37%, energy by 40%, and water usage by 34% for each linear metre of fabric used in their medical workwear.
Their products demonstrate a fully traceable waste stream from Europe to the UK, highlighting the feasibility of sustainable alternatives that coexist harmoniously with our environment. Both Upcycled Medical and SEAQUAL Initiative underscore the importance of collaborative efforts in addressing the environmental impact of marine plastic waste. Their innovative approaches in transforming waste into valuable products set a precedent for other industries to follow, underlining the potential of sustainable practices in contributing to both environmental conservation and economic development.
The work of Upcycled Medical and SEAQUAL Initiative represents a beacon of hope in the fight against ocean plastic pollution. By converting waste into valuable, sustainable products, we not only address the immediate issue of plastic pollution but also pave the way for a more sustainable future. Their commitment to this cause reflects our dedication to protecting our planet and preserving its resources for generations to come.
For more information, please visit https://www.seaqual.org/
And for more information about Upcycled Plastics, please visit
This documentary is part of the Ocean Titans, official series of the World Ocean Council and brought to you by Special Interest Films.