The Top 10 Products Made out of Recycled Ocean Plastic
We have seen some horrific images lately that highlight the oceanic crisis of discarded plastic culminating into giant masses in twice the size of Texas in our precious blue waters. We have seen rivers full of waste flowing through villages. But just visualizing the problem and bringing it to the forefront, does not solve the problem or offer a solution. The real solution is in our age-old slogan of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The first thing we can do is reduce the amount of waste we generate. The second step is reusing as much as we can, and lastly we can recycle. We will explore each of these steps in future articles, but today, let’s start with the most easy concept: Recycled ocean plastic.
Image from First Year Success.
There are some well known, innovative companies already finding ways to remove and recycle ocean plastic. We did our research to explore 10 everyday products that are made from ocean plastic that you can start using today.
1) Athletic Shorts and Apparel
The ocean plastic itself can be spun into yarn and woven into athletic clothing for brands like Adidas, H&M and SoulFace, who have all introduced lines of clothing specifically drawing awareness to the cause while offering a solution to help reduce waste. So now you can look good and feel good!
Image from H&M.
Adidas and Nike have both made running shoes from ocean plastic. Adidas reportedly sold over one million shoes made out of recycled ocean plastic in 2017. Let’s hope they keep up the pace.
Image from Adidas.
Don’t throw shade on sunglass suppliers like Sea2see and Norton Point, who use reclaimed ocean plastic in their frames. Both companies also use a portion of the proceeds to help support ocean plastic reclamation efforts. It is so easy to see the commitment to the mission of these brands, as they are not simply looking to commercialize but to proactively make a difference. The frames and models are very sleek and modern as well, so there is no compromise on style.
Image from Sea2See.
4) Soap & Shampoo Bottles
Even Proctor and Gamble got in on this one, creating a line of soap and detergent bottles made out of recycled plastic. The bottles include 10% ocean plastic and 90% post consumer recycled plastics. Method cleaners, a mainstay and flag bearer of the sustainability movement also has soap bottle made from recycled ocean plastic. This one is a double boon, because not only are the materials recycled, but are completely recyclable as well.
Image from Head & Shoulders.
Stella McCartney and Parley teamed up with a high-end backpack spun from the yarn created from recycled ocean plastic. The idea of making more everyday consumer goods from the spun yarns has long-term, high volume potential.
Image from Stella McCartney
Statement pieces have a new meaning when the statement itself is an environmental one. Several companies like 4Ocean, Nurdle in the Rough and La Garza Bermuda, all take ocean or beach plastics like detergent bottles, jug handles, and other waste and make earrings, pendants and bracelets from them. Great for gifts or simply a beautiful reminder that we all have a higher responsibility here.
Image from LaGarzaBermuda.
Designers are getting in on the action as well. They have introduced several pieces of furniture, mostly tables, and chairs, all harvested from ocean plastics and integrated into creative pieces. Firms like SuperCyclers and Studio Swine as well as designer Brodie Neill, coupled with efforts like the Sea Chair Project have pushed this furniture movement forward and it continues to gain momentum internationally.
Image from StudioSwine.
8) Makeup Pots & Bottles
Companies like Lush Cosmetics are using ocean plastic in their packaging, by partnering with organizations like The Ocean Legacy Foundation to find creative ways to get from waste to want. Like other products, the pots and bottles offered by Lush are molded from pelletized ocean plastic. The Urban Resource Group in Toronto processes the plastic to form the pellets. The company continues to broaden its efforts in this space as more and more of its packaging converts to recycled plastics.
Image from Maria Wilkes. Each one of their pots and bottles are made from BPA-free 100% post-consumer recycled plastic and can be reused, recycled or returned to a Lush shop for recycling.
9) Building Materials
Construction is the biggest contributor to waste, so it is a must-do for building materials to consider the environment in how they are manufactured. Innovative products like acoustical wall treatments by Kirei and wall panels already use recycled PET plastic bottles and are looking at ocean plastic as another source of recycled content.
Mura Fabric by Kirei.
Countertop companies like Durat, out of Finland, are testing ocean plastic in their surfacing products as well.
10) Beach huts
Spark Architects, one of the leading, progressive design firms, based out of California, has an incredibly innovative design proposition underway for beach huts in Singapore made out of recycled ocean plastic. The colorful huts resemble giant pine cones and would line Singapore’s East Coast Park.
Image from Spark Architects.
The opportunities for repurposing this waste are endless. The awareness for these products needs to be created and they need to reach the everyday consumer and we need to make the choice to use a product that considers the environment. As the number of products proliferates, so too should the awareness of the problem that has created a need for these materials. And while the products provide a partial solution, awareness is what needs to drive the prevention of the problem in the first place.
So choose wisely, and use less plastic. For our oceans and for your peace of mind.