Sea2see Foundation, the Non-Profit organization behind the pioneering ‘seastainable’ eyewear brand Sea2see has broadened its waste collection and clean-up activities in Ghana in 2022 in a bid to step up its direct action and impact in the region, to protect the marine environment and eliminate marine waste. The Foundation is operating in Ghana where marine plastic pollution still needs to be radically reduced.
The initial clean-up program by the Sea2see Foundation has concentrated on waste management and the removal of marine waste from beaches, lakes and rivers and involves local men and women who receive a new source of income for the work. The Foundation has established 20 sites for waste collection, with optimized logistics, putting in place 20 reps who are employed to manage and run the Sea2see project across the country. An initiative via the local radio advises locals where they can leave waste and old fishing nets, and arranges for them to bring their bags to be sold – a Sea2see agent will control and weigh the waste and pay them.
Sea2see is the only “seastainable” eyewear label in the optical industry to run side by side its own non-profit organization implementing a program to collect the waste plastic from the marine environment (sea, beaches, rivers and coastal environments) and recycling it into raw UPSEA™ PLAST pellets – giving it a second life. This material can be used to produce other products, such as Sea2see’s colorful stylish eyewear collections. Currently, a waste collection of 350-400 tons a year is underway via the Foundation, of which approximately 300 tons is valuable and can be upcycled for the UPSEA™ PLAST.
“With 1m3 (1000kg / 1 Ton) of recycled material we produce an average of 35.000 frames – and we only used about 5000 kg last year – something quite insignificant in the face of the climate emergency. Our Foundation enables us to collect more than 250 m3/ 250.000 kg per year in Ghana and this is how we will deploy in other parts of the world such as the Cameroons, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, and the Philippines….” François van den Abeele, Founder Sea2see.
Founder, François van den Abeele returned to Africa in August 2022, to develop the collection clean-up programs that he has developed since 2016. Van den Abeele also spent several days with the team behind PACODEP / FREETHESLAVES, an NGO which Sea2see has collaborated with since 2019. The Foundation is investing in the education program for children rescued from slavery in the fishing industry.
“Our aim with the Sea2see Foundation is to find solutions to protect marine environments from plastic pollution and contribute to the elimination of marine waste in countries such as Ghana,” explains van den Abeele. “We are also supporting the local initiative to rescue children from slavery on the Volta lake with funding for their education. I believe in taking direct action in order to achieve a real and tangible impact in the face of the climate emergency and I am committed to continuing this legacy and developing our projects – both social and environmental, further afield.”
Replicating the model achieved in Ghana, Sea2see Foundation will launch a pilot project for marine waste collection in Madagascar in September 2022 and, within the next months, in Cameroon, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. The work will continue to place all focus on the impact the Foundation can achieve as an environmental and social entity, going far beyond its needs as a ‘seastainable’ eyewear maker in terms of the quantity of marine waste recovered.
About the Sea2see Foundation
The Sea2see Foundation is a non-profit that exists alongside the ‘seastainable’ eyewear brand Sea2see. The Foundation launched its program for marine waste collection in 2016 in French and Spanish fishing communities and expanded in Africa in Ghana in 2018.
Sea2see invests in projects arranged by PACODEP / FREETHESLAVES.NET in Ghana, which saves children from slavery in the fishing industry and provides them with education.
Objectives of the SEA2SEE non-profit today:
1. New source of income for the marine waste collectors
2. Environmental impact with almost a ton collected per day
3. Sustainable sourcing of raw material
4. Raising local awareness about plastic waste through collection program
5. Socially responsible action – collaborating with PACODEP /
FREETHESLAVES.NET in education programs.