Palo Alto, California-based HP has announced that it will invest $2 million to build a new plastic washing line in Haiti, allowing the company to expand its ocean-bound plastic supply chain. The company says the investment will allow it to produce cleaner, higher quality recycled plastic locally for use in HP products.
HP says it has been actively reducing ocean-bound plastic in Haiti since 2016, when the company began partnering with the First Mile Coalition to recycle polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles for use in HP ink cartridges. These efforts have diverted approximately 716,000 pounds of plastic—or more than 25 million bottles— preventing this plastic from reaching the waterways and oceans, the company says.
Globally, HP has converted more than 199 million pounds of recycled plastic into 3.9 billion HP ink and toner cartridges since 2000.
In addition to protecting our oceans and the planet, HP says its ocean-bound plastic programs are creating new opportunities for economic advancement and education in local communities. In Haiti, HP’s partnership with Thread International, Pittsburgh, and Work, Los Angeles, has helped create more than 795 income opportunities for adults in that country and opened two new learning centers equipped with HP ProBook x360 Education Edition laptops and HP printers. The collaboration already has provided 100 children with education, food and medical assistance, and the new investment will create more than 1,000 new income opportunities, the company says.
“Our investments and partnerships in Haiti are a great example of the positive change that can happen when businesses and NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) come together to support shared objectives,” says Ellen Jackowski, global head of sustainability strategy and innovation, HP. “We are keeping millions of plastic bottles from ever reaching our oceans, converting them into sustainable products and creating new opportunities for local residents through job creation and education.”
The new washing line will help enable Haiti to expand its recycling capabilities and compete better on the international plastics market, HP says. Suppliers for the line include Lavergne and ECSSA, which have partnered with HP on the project since 2016.
HP joined NextWave Plastics, a consortium of businesses committed to scaling the use of ocean-bound plastics by developing the first global network of ocean-bound plastics supply chains, in October 2018. The coalition has set a goal to divert a minimum of 25,000 metric tons of plastics, the equivalent to 1.2 billion single-use plastic water bottles, by the end of the year 2025.
“We are thrilled to see member company HP continue to ‘turn off the tap’ on ocean-bound plastics,” says Dune Ives, executive director of Lonely Whale, New York City, the convening entity for NextWave Plastics. “There are currently more than 86 million metric tons of plastic in our ocean and, each year, over 8 million metric tons of additional plastic enters the ocean. HP's collaborative approach in Haiti is driving meaningful impact to reduce marine litter today. We are proud that our member companies continue to scale commercially viable and operational ocean-bound plastics supply chains—keeping plastic in the economy and out of the ocean.”