U.S. technology giant Dell and Hollywood actor Adrian Grenier are making waves as they launch their global pilot program to turn the tide on ocean pollution. By pulling plastics out of the ocean and recycling them into a commercially viable way, they hope to keep harmful micro plastics from troubling ocean waters. Dell's pilot program is on pace to use 16,000 pounds of ocean plastics in 2017. Grenier, star of the HBO series "Entourage" and a famed environmentalist, is one of the speakers at the World Ocean Summit in Bali, Indonesia this year.
The 40-year old became a strong advocate for ocean conservation when he started to "personally notice there was less fish and more plastic" in waters, he told CNBC's Street Signs on Wednesday. In 2015, he co-founded the non-profit Lonely Whale Foundation, which champions ocean action.
Deeming the ocean "the most under-served" ecosystem, Grenier explained that the connection between the sea and humanity is closer than some might think. "There are whales that have been beached and when there's an autopsy, they find all sorts of things inside their bellies. And it's not just whales, its marine birds and fish," he said. "By the way, some of us do enjoy fish and we also ingest that. So, scientists are finding plastic within humans because of the ocean problem."
With the intention to create a circular economy, Dell teamed up with Grenier's foundation and is collecting plastics from waterways, beaches and shorelines before they break down into micro plastics. After the plastics go through processing and refinement, Dell mixes the ocean plastic with other recycled HDPE plastics to make packaging trays for its laptops. The transition to ocean plastics packaging for Dell's XPS 13 2-in-1 notebook will begin in April 2017 — the company's first such wide-scale production.
The World Ocean Summit runs from February 22 to 24 and features financing a sustainable ocean economy at the top of its agenda. Grenier, too, is looking to "make contacts and see who wants to join [the foundation] in helping to scale [its] program to take ocean-bound plastic and put it into the supply chain of different companies."