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The Essentials of Ocean Plastic Pollution

Developed by The Sustainable Packaging Coalition®

Part of the full Essentials of Sustainable Packaging Training Program

The Essentials of Ocean Plastic Pollution is a comprehensive exploration of the role of plastic packaging as an ocean pollutant and how packaging and waste systems can be designed to mitigate or reverse the impacts of ocean pollution. The course examines the scope of the ocean pollution problem and the impacts of plastic pollution on the marine environment. This is grounded in an overview of the underlying waste management issues, as well as what efforts are underway to remove waste plastic from waterways. The course then provides a case-study based investigation of how ocean-bound and ocean plastic can become recycled content in an expanding suite of packaging applications. 

Ending on solutions, the course highlights industry and government-led initiatives to grow supply chains around ocean-bound and ocean plastic, as well as strategies to support waste management infrastructure in the regions where it’s needed the most.

Course curriculum: 

  • Defining the Problem – Impacts on the marine environment and waste management infrastructure challenges
  • Exploring Solutions – Ocean-bound plastic as feedstock
  • Active Solutions – Initiatives around ocean plastic pollution

Course length: 1 hour and 25 minutes

Learning Objectives: 

After taking this course, the Learner will be able to:

  1. List the four main pathways by which ocean plastic pollution enters the ocean 
  2. Identify the most common types of packaging waste contributing to ocean plastic pollution
  3. Recognize strategies and initiatives intended to prevent marine debris from entering the ocean

What learners are saying: 

  • It was good to show that we need to help build the infrastructure, as well to demand recycled resin, to make a real circular economy. 
  • I really enjoyed this course. This is such an important topic and it was set up very well! 
  • Very useful training.
  • I really enjoyed how [the course] laid out the problem and then went into detail about how to combat the issues and current ways the industry is working towards that.  
  • The most valuable part of the Essentials of Ocean Plastic Pollution would be learning about what larger businesses and coalitions can do to support.
  • more sustainable methods of plastic production and the infrastructure required to better handle plastic waste.
  • This is an excellent course, really helpful.
  • The most valuable part of the course [was how we as] packaging professionals should refocus on the most preferred form of recovery…  and try to incorporate ocean-bound or ocean plastic into our new packaging design.

The Essentials of Ocean Plastic Pollution is included in the online subscription to The Essentials of Sustainable Packaging.

Courses in The Essentials of Sustainable Packaging:

Essentials of Sustainable Packaging Core Content
Project 1 of 5

Essentials of Sustainable Packaging Core Content

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Essentials of Bioplastics
Project 2 of 5

Essentials of Bioplastics

Learn more
Essentials of Sourcing Fiber
Project 3 of 5

Essentials of Sourcing Fiber

Learn more
Essentials of Compostable Packaging
Project 4 of 5

Essentials of Compostable Packaging

Learn more
Essentials of Material Health
Project 5 of 5

Essentials of Material Health

Learn more

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