Teachings from the Sea

May 31st, 2021
Reading time: 3 minutes

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” -Jonathan Swift

Dear Readers,

Perspective is truly a phenomenal concept. Recently, I’ve been looking at things a little differently. I had the fortunate opportunity to spend a little time underwater as I sought my dive certification, and I’ve found that being underwater has allowed me to reflect on the impact of our work at Brightmark and the “why” behind it all…. From a completely new perspective.

As human beings, most of the visible—and often shocking—examples we see of environmental degradation are above water, in our direct line of sight. However, much of the damage caused by climate change and the plastic pollution epidemic lay below the surface, invisible to us. Coral bleaching from warming oceans. Plastics were discovered miles into the deep. Microplastics discovered in fish. My time underwater has me deeply reflecting on the beauty of our unique planet while also recognizing the urgency of the problems we face and the impacts of our “make-take-dispose” consumption model.

Luckily, I’m already in the business of adopting and raising awareness about a more considered approach to consumption. We can and must do better. There is a rising call for a new economic model that better respects and utilizes the Earth’s natural systems.

According to the experts at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the circular economy is “an industrial system that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design.”

Brightmark is helping to lead this circular economy movement, and we approach the problem with curiosity and great resolve to do well by doing good. We disrupt difficult- or historically impossible-to-recycle waste streams wherever we see them, including boat shrink wrap, children’s car seats, and even animal manure. We squeeze waste out of our own processes wherever we see it. We refine our technology for new uses, including our goal of fully circular plastic-to-plastic technology. We recycle, reduce, and reuse at every point along the way.

We’re doing the work, with unwavering determination and curiosity. And we’re not afraid to look below the surface for the invisible, even though it’s dark down there.

I’m grateful for the ocean’s many lessons, and I intend to keep listening.

Bob Powell

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