Enerkem Inc., a waste-to-biofuels and chemicals producer based in Montreal, Quebec, has announced at the G7 Environment, Energy and Oceans Ministerial Meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia, that it will be exploring opportunities to take action on ocean plastics waste and marine litter.
Following the successful commercial launch of its waste-to-biofuels facility in Edmonton, Alberta, converting mixed household waste and unrecoverable plastics into fuels and chemicals, Enerkem says it is now seeking to leverage its carbon recycling technology knowledge to help solve the ever-growing issues related to ocean plastics waste.
The company has engaged discussions with The Ocean Legacy Foundation, a Surrey, British Columbia-based nonprofit organization that conducts recurring coastal cleanup expeditions, to explore ways soiled plastics can be recuperated from oceans to produce low carbon transportation fuels and chemicals through Enerkem's technology.
"Our breakthrough waste-to-biofuels and chemicals technology is already addressing the issues related to urban waste, including plastics,” Marie- Hélène Labrie, senior vice president of government affairs and communications at Enerkem, says. “Through this innovative collaboration, we are committed to looking at concrete local initiatives to turn ocean plastics waste into valuable products.”
According to the World Economic Forum, New York City, around 150 million tons of plastics are floating in our oceans, with an additional eight million tons entering the water each year. Despite plastics waste reduction and recycling efforts by government, municipalities and communities, the amount of plastics littering the world's marine environments is expected to triple within a decade.
Under the theme of working together on climate change, oceans and clean energy, the G7 Ministerial Meeting underscores the importance of engaging and supporting ways to tackle climate change, improve the health of the world's oceans and transform the way energy is produced, transported and used.
Tackling global marine litter and plastic pollution was one of the major outcomes highlighted during the G7 Leaders' Summit, held last June in Charlevoix, Quebec. During the Summit, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and the European Union have agreed to the Oceans Plastics Charter. Enerkem is endorsing this initiative, which aims at moving toward a more resource-efficient and sustainable approach to the management of plastic including increasing capacity to manage plastic as a resource.