About us - GOT BAG (US)
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our mission

the problem

WHY WE HAVE TO START ACTING NOW

Of the newly produced plastics worldwide, around 9% are recycled, 12% are incinerated and 79% end up in nature.*

Things cannot continue like this. Here's what we can do:

  • Produce & use less plastic
  • Improve waste infrastructure & recycle more
  • Collect plastic from the environment with clean-up programs
We needed to act. With our mission, we want to tackle the advancing plastic pollution of our oceans and encourage a more conscious use of natural resources. – Benjamin Mandos, Founder

WHY SO MUCH PLASTIC ENDS UP IN THE SOUTHEAST ASIAN OCEANS

In Indonesia, everyone generates one-fifth of the waste that a US American person causes every day – but plastic accounts for at least 10% of it. In addition, there is plastic waste that is not officially being tracked and exported to Southeast Asia instead of being disposed of and recycled directly in Europe or the USA, for example.

Depending on the population size of a country, the level of industrialization and education, the number of people living close to the coast, the infrastructure and geographical factors such as weather, topography and vegetation, the proportion that is improperly disposed of into nature varies. Jambeck et al. (2015) estimate that in Indonesia it is around 83%. In industrialized countries such as the USA, it is usually only around 2%. Thus, after China, Indonesia is the country where the most plastic ends up in the ocean worldwide: Up to 1.29 MMT/year. In the USA, for example, it is as little as 0.11 MMT/year.

HOW PLASTIC REACHES THE OCEAN IN THE FIRST PLACE

OUR APPROACH

WHAT WE'RE DOING ABOUT IT

In 2016, we started collecting plastic from the ocean, recycling it and processing it into backpacks. Since then, we've been able to steadily increase the capacity of our clean-up program and thus the amount of plastic we collect each month. Even beyond this, we are continuously increasing our impact: Based on scientific findings and on-site experience, we know that it is as important to prevent improperly disposed plastic waste to keep it from entering the ocean in the first place.

Preventive
Collect improperly managed plastic waste to prevent it from entering the ocean

Raise awareness to become more conscious of plastic use
Active
Collect plastic from the ocean and return it to the raw material cycle
Innovative
Collaborate with scientific partners to recycle more types of plastic and open up new clean-up opportunities
Preventive
Collect improperly managed plastic waste to prevent it from entering the ocean

Raise awareness to become more conscious of plastic use
Active
Collect plastic from the ocean and return it to the raw material cycle
Innovative
Collaborate with scientific partners to recycle more types of plastic and open up new clean-up opportunities

our clean-up program

WHAT WE ARE UP TO IN INDONESIA

The amount of plastic collected as bycatch from the ocean by a network of now more than 2,000 fisherwomen and fishermen on the north coast of Java has steadily increased since we began our clean-up activities in 2016. Additionally, we have started to collect plastic on land that ends up in the environment due to a lack of or poor waste management systems. Starting from the coast, we are able to cover larger areas with our collection points. Thus, we provide a direct opportunity for recycling, collect improperly managed plastic and also act as a preventive measure for less plastic in the ocean.

To take our holistic approach further, we also thoroughly clean and process the PET portion of the collected plastic needed for the GOT BAGs. For the other types of plastic collected, we feed them into the appropriate recycling solutions. The individuals who are a part of our clean-up initiative have become important multipliers since they provide others with information on recycling and the negative effect of plastic waste on the ocean and sensitize their environment to a more conscious use of plastic.The outcome has been extremely rewarding since we have been creating close relationships with the local government on finding long-term solutions to preserve the marine ecosystem.

WHAT OCEAN IMPACT PLASTIC STANDS FOR

The material we collect is called Ocean Impact Plastic – a symbol that from now on it will no longer pose a threat to the ocean and we are creating an impact together with the GOT BAG community. It is composed of plastic that we actively collect from the ocean and the immediate vicinity of our collection points – from mangrove areas, rivers or even immediately after use. This measure prevents plastics from ending up in the ocean due to a lack of waste management infrastructure.

OUR SUPPLY CHAIN

HOW WE TURN TRASH INTO TREASURE

HOW PRODUCTS ARE BROUGHT TO THE GOT BAG COMMUNITY

Since the Indian Ocean is particularly affected by plastic pollution and its consequences, we collect the Ocean Impact Plastic in Indonesia. It is woven into a textile in China, as our partners there have the greatest worldwide expertise and are conveniently located between Indonesia and Europe:

All GOT BAG partners are required to undergo regular external audits,confirming through quality and environment-related certifications that resources are used responsibly and that all production steps have the lowest possible negative impact on people and the environment.

SUSTAINABILITY

HOW WE CONTRIBUTE TO A CIRCULAR ECONOMY

Our products show that plastic from the environment can be used to make new things. We need to commit to reusing more and more plastic in the future and to all of us being more responsible with natural resources.
Benjamin Mandos, Founder

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