These collection areas were updated on 6/7/22. Learn why.
Each piece of plastic has a story. We classify our recycled plastic sources into seven different Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) collection zones that describe the waste plastic journey from manufacturing all the way to the high seas. Each material listing on our marketplace is classified to provide members with visibility and choice. Cost and material quality may vary between the source areas. Choose the material and source that best fits your manufacturing, sustainability and marketing strategy.
Oceanworks categories 1-7 fall under the umbrella of post-consumer recycled content. Categories 1-3 fall under the umbrella of “ocean plastic.”
Material far from shore accumulated floating “gyres.” The material is primarily HDPE, as it floats, and represents a fraction of the plastics that enter the ocean each year.
Material suspended in the shallow areas of the ocean that are close to shore. This category also includes fishing net recovery and intervention programs.
Material that has washed up onto beaches and coastlines.
Material found in streams, rivers and other waterways flowing towards the ocean.
Material collected from communities with no formal waste management within 50 km of the shoreline. This catchment area was first utilized in research by marine debris expert, Jenna Jambeck, in evaluating the source of plastic waste entering the ocean.
Material collected from communities with mismanaged waste outside of the Ocean-Bound collection area or with an unknown distance from the shoreline. This is plastic that, if not responsibility recovered on land and reutilized for production, would likely remain in the environment, causing pollution.
7. Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR)
PCR is an all-encompassing term for material that has been used by consumers and reached its end of life. It can include material that was removed from the environment as pollution as well as material that was diverted from the landfill through a formal or an informal recycling program to be reutilized in future production.
Post-Industrial Recycled (Not Pictured)
Post-Industrial Recycled (PIR) plastic is not considered PCR and is defined as material generated from the original manufacturing process that does not end up being used in the final product. This material is diverted from the landfill to be reutilized in future production.