Brightmark forms buoy plastic recycling partnership

The San Francisco-based company has partnered with Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to recycle its buoys and downlines.

San Francisco-based Brightmark LLC has launched a plastic recycling partnership with the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) in an effort to reduce materials from going to the landfill.

FKNMS has mooring and informational buoys to mark ecological reserves and provide an option for boats to tie up to as opposed to anchoring to help protect ocean reefs below. Prior to this partnership, FKNMS had to send these buoys to landfill when they reached end-of-life status since they were considered too difficult to recycle. Through the new partnership with Brightmark, FKNMS will send Brightmark these buoys and downlines to recycle them and convert them into circular plastics and lower carbon fuel and wax.

According to a news release from Brightmark, the partnership follows what it calls “a successful pilot phase,” the two groups will now recycle plastic buoys and downlines from the sanctuary’s upper and lower Keys locations to help decrease marine plastic pollution in the area. The two groups aim to expand this program nationally.

“Our partnership with the sanctuary is an essential and first-of-its-kind collaboration that will pull and divert plastic from our oceans,” says Bob Powell, Brightmark founder and chief executive officer. “This program is another proof point of how our innovative advanced recycling technology can play a critical role in ‘reimaging waste’ to solve the plastic waste crisis in our oceans with a truly circular solution.”

“This initiative elevates our commitment to protect the environment,” says Sarah Fangman, superintendent of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. “I’m proud that buoy team member Benjamin D'Avanzo recognized the need for a sustainable alternative to our plastics waste and pursued this partnership with Brightmark.”

Brightmark says it has produced a short documentary on FKNMS’ buoy team to follow its daily operations and show how materials are sent to be recycled by Brightmark.

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