OceanCycle Certification

Real transparency, traceability, and accountability for real change.

OceanCycle provides a 100% independent, third-party certification of ocean-bound plastics recycling supply chains to ensure that they meet international quality, ethical, environmental, and labor standards.

Our certification employs a first-of-its-kind chain of custody system. Purchasers of OceanCycle Certified materials have end-to-end traceability of those materials from bottle collection through manufacturing. They will know that their materials meet the following criteria:

  • Material Collection: Fits within OceanCycle’s standards of proximity to the coastline in an area of mismanaged waste.
  • Ethically Sourced: Must be post-consumer waste from the country of origin and collected in an ethical manner ensuring no harmful child labor and fair wages to collectors.
  • Environmental Practices: Proper disposal of wastewater and chemicals
  • Documentation: Compliance with OceanCycle’s end-to-end traceability, documented from bottle collection through to manufacturing.
OceanCycle certified

Traceability you can trust

Ensuring these criteria are met requires working with local communities and constant monitoring. OceanCycle has years of experience building grassroots collection systems and working with humanitarian data-collection experts. We provide a unique on-the-ground presence and support system that helps collectors, aggregators, and processors meet the OceanCycle standards and incorporate their feedback to improve collection and recycling efforts.

This level of engagement makes OceanCycle the most trusted certifier in the industry and ensures that our certification process can create the foundation for protecting our oceans and improving lives.

When manufacturers, brands, and consumers see the OceanCycle Certification mark, they can have confidence that their materials are ethically sourced and can trust that the materials they are using are in fact what they claim to be. They will know that their efforts are truly impacting the ocean plastics problem and improving local communities.

What is Ocean-Bound Plastic?

Ocean-bound or prevented/diverted plastic is plastic waste recovered from within 50 kilometers (30 miles) of an ocean coastline or major waterway that feeds into the ocean in a geographic region that lacks formal waste management. Except in the case of a sea, material collected from major waterways may be no further than 200km from the mouth or end point of that waterway (e.g. plastic material collected from the Nile River coastline must be within 200km of the mouth of the Nile).

For more information:
Download – OceanCycle® Processor Certification for Ocean & Ocean-bound Plastics: Definitions & Standards V 3.0

What the OceanCycle Certification Chain of Custody Looks Like

The OceanCycle creates an economic incentive for preventing ocean-bound plastic from reaching the ocean. We certify, monitor, and document each stage from collection through manufacturing to ensure trust in the system. The OceanCycle creates an economic incentive for preventing ocean-bound plastic from reaching the ocean. We certify, monitor, and document each stage from collection through manufacturing to ensure trust in the system.

OceanCycle certifies and GPS maps the collection centers to ensure that they are within 30 miles of a coastline in areas of mismanaged waste.
Collectors in at-risk areas bring discarded bottles to approved collection centers. The collection centers check the bottles and provide receipts.
Removing dirty plastics There’s a rigorous process of segmenting and sorting by color and type, removing dirty plastics, and removing caps and labels to ensure recyclers are able to assist recyclers in producing high-quality recycled material at high yields.
Sorting plastics Sorted material is then transported to aggregation centers. Aggregation centers issue receipts to collection centers.
Aggregation centers of plastic from oceans Aggregation centers quality check and bale or cold wash material for efficient transportation to final processor.
Final processor issues receipts to aggregation center.
Material is segregated and labeled prior Material is segregated and labeled prior to batch processing.
Material is processed in batches.
segregated and labeled Processed product is segregated and labeled
Reports OceanCycle receives a report of deliveries, processing, and shipment and ensures they are accurate and complete.
Processor documentation Each report is backed up by full documentation. Processor uploads all documentation to a secure online database controlled by OceanCycle. Additional documents include bill of lading, packing slips and container weight slips. OceanCycle goes beyond annual certifications to check and approve every shipment prior to it reaching a customer comparing material received to material shipped.
Transfer certificates Transfer certificates are issued to certified partners and material buyers can verify a prior transfer certificate if they have any concerns.
Dashboard Traceability documentation is uploaded to our dashboards to track overall impact of purchases and for easy reporting.


How the OceanCycle Certification Improves Livelihoods

We partner with local businesses and community leaders to help improve collection networks that pay people fairly for what they collect. We focus on establishing a high value for reusable plastic material, so people will see plastic as a resource—not something to be discarded. This creates jobs for people in need and provides families a sustaining income to purchase food and send their kids to school.

Food and safe water system distributionsCommunities

Throughout, we try to understand the needs of people living in at-risk coastal communities. As we identify issues such as food, shelter improvements, protective gear, and cash flow, we adjust OceanCycle’s budget to provide support and implement sustainable solutions.

OceanCycle provides the monitoring, transparency, and accountability necessary to ensure that this recycling economy functions as intended. When you see the OceanCycle Certification, you can trust that your efforts are truly helping to improve lives and solve the ocean plastics problem.

OceanCycle Certification for Recyclers

OceanCycle helps you elevate your business and bring recognition to your efforts.

Our certification is designed to support material processors in their efforts to prevent ocean plastic pollution and engage with local communities. We offer a range of tools to help processors better understand their collection network, analyze and improve material flows, and report metrics to brands and customers. Through our process we track and verify material flows and offer digital transfer certificates for processors to provide to their customers.

“OceanCycle has been incredibly helpful in developing our approach to waste management and recycling in the DRC. They are working with us under difficult circumstances to truly appreciate our challenges and understand the needs of the people. With insight founded on proven operations in many regions of the world, they provided us with a blueprint on how to develop our local recycling operations and organize community collections. Above all, the biggest takeaway I have personally gained from the team at OceanCycle is the utmost respect for their passion and drive to ensure ethical and inclusive standards are at the forefront of everything they do or are associated with. Because of their help, we truly believe we have a better opportunity to grow our business in a way that both improves lives and the environment.” – David Richardson, Ékolosys

Advantages We Offer Recyclers

  • Trust: Your customers will know there is honesty and transparency in your supply chain.
  • Advocacy: We help you craft stories and content on the impact happening. As an independent, third-party certifier, we are happy to discuss with your customers why your supply chain can be trusted.
  • Insights: We’ll help you understand the barriers to higher yields, as well as the issues impacting collectors at the local level and how these might be solved.
  • Strategic Advice: We’ll suggest improvements that will help you reduce risk and strengthen your supply chain.

Certification Principles

  • Highest Industry Standards: Commitment to adhere to the most rigorous and ongoing certification process
  • Community Improvement: Commitment to improving the livelihoods of plastic collectors
  • Market-Based Pricing: Desire to bring scale and volume of material to the market.

Certification Standards

Download – OceanCycle® Processor Certification for Ocean & Ocean-bound Plastics: Definitions & Standards V 3.0


Our process consists of both a factory audit and a mapping and audit of the collection network. The collection network is anchored in collection points that meet definitions defined in the certification standards. Only approved collection points are able to provide material to the factory for processing and shipment.

Download – OCI – Processor Audit Process & Methodology


Certification is broken down into two costs. An upfront cost for auditing the factory and collection network and an ongoing cost for shipment verification and traceability. Upfront costs are based on the size of the collection network that needs to be certified and local labor rates, typically presented as a daily rate. Ongoing costs are only paid at the time of sale when a transfer certificate is issued. Transfer certificate costs are based on material type and volume. To inquire further about pricing please email certification@oceancycle.co.


How to Apply

Fill out and send an application to certification@oceancycle.co. We will be in touch with details on next steps.

Download – OCI Processor Certification Application Form

OceanCycle Certification for Manufacturers

By using OceanCycle-certified sources, you are showing a commitment to the highest standards in the industry and providing better alignment with brands and their sustainability goals.

Advantages We Offer Manufacturers 

  • Stronger Conditions for Sales: OceanCycle provides a proven chain of custody and the opportunity to engage with potential customers to explain certification and its benefits.
  • Insights: We provide insights from the processors on where the material is collected and community needs. We help integrate purpose into your overall business model with customers.
  • Reduction of Middlemen: We do not make or sell anything.
  • Green Supply Chain Consulting: Assistance with greening up an existing supply chain instead of creating a new one just for ocean-bound plastics.

Audit Standards

Download – OceanCycle® Certification – Manufacturing Supplemental 3.0


Audit pricing is based on the number of factories to be certified, local labor rates, and costs of travel. For more information email certification@oceancycle.co.


How to Apply

  • Review standards and ensure you can apply.
  • Make sure you are sourcing from an OceanCycle Certified partner.
  • Fill out an OceanCycle Certification Application and email to certification@oceancycle.co. A local auditor will get in contact with you to arrange a visit.

Download – OCI Manufacturer Certification Application Form (English)

制造商认证服务申请 – OCI Manufacturer Certification Application Form

List of Certified Manufacturers 


What OceanCycle Certification Means for Brands

The OceanCycle Certification mark ensures that brands have confidence across the supply chain in both the quality and impact of the ocean-bound material making it into their products.

OceanCycle is committed to going above and beyond the average certification process. Instead of just focusing on one aspect of recycling or collection we look at the system. Our immersive process and years of experience working with grassroots supply chains helps de-risk the system prior to certification and our ongoing monitoring helps ensure continued compliance. Whether it’s livelihoods, responsible sourcing, or traceability our certification can help you meet your Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals.

Advantages OceanCycle Certification Offers Brands

  • Reduced Supply Chain Risk
  • “Shore to Store” Chain of Custody: You’ll have traceability and transparency going all the way back to the collection of raw materials.
  • Third-Party Advocacy: We will confirm the integrity of your ocean-bound plastics supply chain and highlight your brand’s usage of OceanCycle certified recycled materials.
  • Authentic Stories and Content: We can provide social monitoring, opportunities to directly engage in collection communities, and metrics on the overall environmental and social impact of your brand and products.

Learn More About How We Audit Supply Chains

Our Audit Process

Download – OCI – Processor Audit Process & Methodology


Work with an OceanCycle Certified Partner

List of Certified Manufacturers



Want to Learn More about Our Certification or How It Can Align with Your Goals?

Email us at info@oceancycle.co 

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