Blue Vendor Program

Our Mission Statement

From shore to sea, the Blue Vendor Program at Loggerhead Marinelife Center strives to serve as a bridge between vendors, retailers and the marine environment by working collaboratively with businesses to implement environmentally- friendly changes that will have lasting, positive effects on the world’s most valuable resource: the ocean.

Our Purpose

The vision of the Blue Vendor Program is to introduce ocean-minded packaging and shipping practices to vendors and businesses that will mutually benefit both the business and the marine environment. We strive to create a plastic-free, polystyrene-free business setting while encouraging sustainable packaging and shipping options.

Why Choose Us?

The Blue Vendor Program is an entirely free program that is based out of Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) in Juno Beach, Florida. We endeavor to work collaboratively with vendors to develop solutions and best practices to protect our blue planet for generations to come. When a business chooses to join the Blue Vendor Program, they not only receive free advertising for their commitment to ocean conservation, but also the knowledge that they are actively implementing business best practices to help save the ocean and marine life.

Why Does All of This Matter?
The Fight Against Plastic

The ocean is the world’s most valuable resource, it is said to be Earth’s life support. It holds 97% of the world’s water and produces over half of our oxygen while also absorbing a large portion of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it plays a vital role in climate regulation, and is the primary source of protein for over one billion people.  Plastic, including polystyrene plastics (i.e., Styrofoam), is a unique material that does not biodegrade or become part of the environment around it; instead, plastic pieces continue to get smaller and smaller, releasing toxins and negatively affecting marine life.

  • Plastic debris causes the deaths of more than one million seabirds each year, and over 100,000 marine animals.
  • 50% of all plastic created is designed to be disposed of after a single use, and over 300 million tons of plastic waste is generated yearly (UN Environment, 2018)
  • 14 million tons of waste was generated from plastic containers and packaging in the US in 2018, and over 69% ultimately ended up in landfills (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2018).
  • Between 4.7 -12.7 million metric tons of plastic enters the ocean every year, the equivalent of an entire garbage truck of plastic being dumped in the ocean very minute of every day (Jambeck et al., 2015)
  • Ocean plastic poses severe threats to marine life. Nearly 100% of post-hatchling sea turtles treated by Loggerhead Marinelife Center have plastics in their stomachs
  • Waste generating from plastic packaging alone, results in 80 million tons of waste yearly. Simply opening plastic packaging generates microplastic pieces (Sobhani et al., 2020)
  • Approximately one-third of an average landfill is made up of packaging material

In 2020, through beach and underwater cleanups, LMC, together with our amazing community of volunteers, we was able to:

  • Remove over 4,500 lbs. of debris from the marine environment (99,967 individual pieces!)
  • 14,789 foam plastic pieces, which often come in the form of packing peanuts and Styrofoam packing shells, and other materials used for packaging
  • 8,973 film plastic pieces, a material commonly used for wrapping and packing products
  • 30,843 hard plastics, frequently used to make plastic merchandise and packaging
  • 1,571 plastic bags used to wrap clothing items and for bagging purchases for in-store shopping
  • 5,580 plastic wrappers

By working together to eliminate single-use plastic from businesses, we can significantly reduce the amount of debris entering our oceans and posing serious threats to sea turtles and other marine life. By partnering with LMC’s Blue Vendor Program, you can actively help protect our blue planet from plastic debris.

Sustainable Packaging

The aim of the Blue Vendor Program is to unify broad sustainability objectives with business needs that will transform packaging into a ‘closed-loop’ flow of materials in a system that is robust throughout its life cycle, from vendor to retailer. Sustainable packaging is a growing trend that can be seen in many different industries throughout the world. Reducing packaging materials and minimizing waste are the two main components of the Blue Vendor Program. Put simply, sustainable packaging is earth-friendly packaging that does not contribute to pollution or further depletion of natural resources, while meeting market criteria for performance and cost.

  • Retail Industry Leaders Association reports that 93% of global consumers expect brands to support social and environmental issues.
  • In a study of 19,000 conducted in 28 countries, nearly 60% are willing to change their shopping habits to reduce environmental impacts
  • In a survey of 120 outdoor retailers from 13 countries, 94% claimed consumer demand for sustainable products has increased in the last two years (Suston-EOG Survey, 2019)

The Details
What We Bring to Blue Vendors

79% of consumers in the US actively seek out products that are environmentally or socially responsible (CONE Communications, 2017). As Blue Vendor Program partners, participating vendors will receive the following benefits:

  • Blue Vendor Program partner acknowledgment on LMC’s website, all social media outlets, newsletter, etc., reaching over 91,000 viewers
  • Direct assistance and guidance in implementing ocean-saving changes
  • Bi-Annual reports on overall program achievements
  • Once all criteria have been met, a badge will be awarded to the vendor to display on their website

What the Vendor Brings to Retailers

To join the program, participating vendors can qualify by progressing through the levels of the Blue Vendor levels:

*Criteria have been formulated according to the assortment of merchandise that LMC carries. Your shipments and packaging practices will be judged according to your merchandise.

Level 1

Product packaging

  • Eliminate the use of plastic hangers
  • Avoid individually wrapping merchandise in plastic bags

Shipping

  • Eliminate plastic air pillows and plastic bubble wrap from shipments
  • Avoid individually wrapping merchandise in plastic bags
  • Products are shipped in appropriately sized boxes

Level 2

Product packaging

  • All criteria in level 1 must be met
  • Avoid packing size categories in plastic bags
  • Avoid wrapping items in bubble wrap
  • Non-plastic, environmentally conscious earring/necklace cards must be used

Shipping

  • All criteria in level 1 must be met
  • Avoid space fillers, or use paper where needed.
  • Avoid plastic padded mailers when shipping
  • Eliminate packing peanuts
  • Avoid using boxes inside shipping box

For more information, or to become a Blue Vendor Program partner, contact:
Jessi Louw at: jlouw-rojas@marinelife.org