As part of Audia’s global commitment to sustainability, Audia Elastomers is excited to announce the introduction of our ‘OP’ or ocean plastic line of thermoplastic elastomers based on marine waste plastics. The challenge of pollution in our oceans is multifaceted and requires more than one solution. The most important step in stopping and preventing ocean waste is intercepting waste before it ever enters the oceans or a waterway. Therefore, a key component of this initiative is to create a market for recycled plastic from regions with poor existing waste infrastructure before it enters the ocean. Marine fishing gear is also a major contributor to ocean waste and historically, a large amount of fishing gear has been abandoned at sea. To solve this issue, we are focusing on creating products made from used fishing gear materials to create a market for the end-of-life gear and help keep it from being left at sea. Lastly, collecting and cleaning up existing waste in our oceans and on our beaches requires outlets for waste that may be degraded by salt water and light exposure.
The Audia Elastomers ‘OP’ line of elastomers tackle all of these issues with recycled materials sourced from at risk regions, upcycling used commercial fishing gear, and salvaging plastic waste from marine and beach clean-up efforts.
The ‘OP’ line of elastomer materials includes products with up to 45% marine waste and 70% total recycled material content in a wide range of hardness from 35 Shore A to 95 Shore A. Raw materials sources are customized for each brand owner to focus on at-risk recycling, fishing gear, or beach clean-up. These materials can compete in high performance applications for consumer goods, toys, electronics, and sporting equipment against conventional TPEs, TPVs, and TPU chemistries. This new range of high-performance materials increases the potential market for marine waste beyond basic PET fibers and containers and allows more brand owners the opportunity to help keep our oceans clean and free from debris.