Sky Ocean Rescue: what you need to know

Before you get started, we’ve put together some resources to help you get up to speed with Sky Ocean Rescue.

In a nutshell

Our vision is to lead the way and inspire millions of people to stop using everyday single-use plastic. This website supports one of our key commitments under Sky Ocean Rescue: To transform our own business. Sky will lead by example and remove all single-use plastic from our business and supply chain by 2020.

We will:

  • Eliminate all single-use plastics from our own operations and products by 2020.
  • Work with our business partners and supply chain to do the same.
  • Lead the way for other businesses.

By taking part, you’re joining organisations from Kia Oval to Unipart logistics, taking a stand on SUPs and inspiring simple, everyday changes to stop our oceans from drowning in plastic.

  • Click here for more on Sky's SOR commitments
  • Click here to download SOR in a nutshell
  • Click here to learn more about who we’re working with
  • Click here to read about Sky's own journey to transforming our own business

What are Single-use Plastics?

Sky define single-use plastics as those that are intended to be used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. Plastics are single-use if they are used for less than a week.

This includes bioplastics, as they only degrade under very specific circumstances, and can’t be processed appropriately in London.

We’ve defined the scope of what we consider to be SUPs very carefully to give SOR focus.

Want more information?
- Click here for our in depth definition of SUPs
- Click here for Sky’s SUP policy

How we make decisions about waste

This site is designed to help you to problem solve to eliminate or replace SUPs. But how do you know if a solution is the right one?

The waste hierarchy

We use a hierarchy of alternatives to help us make decisions. We start with asking ourselves if we can eliminate the need for an SUP entirely, such as redesigning our packaging so it’s plastic free. But if there really is a need to keep the item, there’s a hierarchy for helping you make decisions on what to replace them with. For example, reusable cups are a better alternative than using paper ones, which is preferable to simply swapping for canned drinks. If there really is no alternative, we recommend improving your waste collection and disposal, so more plastic is recycled.

Why not bio, or compostable plastics?

Although they may seem like a good alternative, plant based materials like cornstarch are not recyclable, nor do they compost unless under specific conditions (i.e. high heat). This means they can last as long as normal plastics in our oceans. Sky don’t consider these materials to be a solution.

But what about health & safety?
Plastics are legally required in some areas, such as catering, where they keep food fresh, or in some bars, where they reduce the potential from harm from smashed glass. We’re working on a variety of alternatives, through our innovation fund.

Want to know more about…

Where next? The circular economy

The circular economy describes a model where waste is not simply disposed of, but becomes a valuable resource, which is used again. You can see it in action in systems such as milk delivery. Milk is delivered in reusable glass bottles, meaning nothing ever goes to waste.

The circular economy aims to redefine products and services to design waste out, while minimising negative impacts.

Want more info?

Symbols and glossary

Chasing arrows?

On most pieces of plastic packaging, you’ll find the ‘chasing arrow’ triangles, with numbers in them. The purpose of the number is to identify the type of plastic used, ask your waste disposal company which plastics between 1-6 are being disposed of.

Want more info?

Click here to learn more about different waste recycling symbols.

Do you know your ‘compostable’ from your ‘bagasse’? Your ‘renewable’ from your ‘recycled’? Click here to see our glossary.

...Or if you'd like to download our Business Transformation Toolkit, click here.