Glad® partners with Oceanworks® to create Australia’s first ocean-bound plastic recycled bin liner
The Glad to be Green® 50% Ocean-Bound Plastic Recycled Bags
Australians are incredibly concerned about ocean plastic and, for 67% of them, plastic waste in the ocean is their top environmental concern. This might be driven by the fact that 85% of Australians live within 50 kilometers of the coast, and the plight of the Great Barrier Reef is a local issue versus an existential one.
Recognizing the appetite in this market for solutions that improve ocean health, Glad’s parent, The Clorox Company, put its research and development muscle behind innovative solutions that address consumers’ environmental concerns while delivering the superior quality of the Glad brand. The company turned to Oceanworks to help develop a new bin liner that would directly contribute to the reduction of ocean bound plastic.
Consumers rely on bin liners every day to dispose of their waste and collect their recyclables. Most consumers take them for granted, and value strength since no one wants their rubbish spilling onto the floor.
With durability being an essential requirement for any sustainable bin liner, the Glad team needed a reliable source of recycled plastic, since material variations could easily compromise product quality or disrupt manufacturing. At the same time, they wanted to maximize the social and environmental benefits.
Another key concern was the ability to scale up the program while keeping the cost of goods at an acceptable level. To get their products onto shelves across the region, Glad needed suppliers that could deliver the necessary volume of recycled plastic at a reasonable, consistent, and predictable price point.
By partnering with Oceanworks, a powerful responsible plastic sourcing engine that brings traceability and digitization to the recycled plastic trade, Glad could ensure a steady, dependable source of recycled plastic supply with the additional benefit of feedstock directly preventing ocean plastic pollution.
Looking to build on its initial successes with the Glad to be Green® product line, Glad’s team sought out the next member of its family of products to make it more sustainable. Oceanworks emerged as a partner uniquely positioned to help with this challenge due to their focus on identifying and qualifying a large breadth of ocean and ocean bound plastic suppliers and their commitment to quality, reliability, and traceability. Ocean bound plastic presents a significant threat to marine ecosystems, where it pollutes waterways, harms sea life and its habitats, and eventually breaks down into microplastics that present a permanent danger to marine life and humans consuming contaminated seafood.
To narrow down the field of potential ocean plastic material options, Glad worked with Oceanworks on several pilot trials to ensure that the product would meet their high standards for strength and performance.
Glad ultimately settled on a 50% blend of ocean bound plastic for their Glad to be Green® 50% Ocean Bound Plastic Recycled Bags, all sourced from within 50 kilometers of shorelines where there is no formal waste management. In a unique departure from their usual logistics practices, Glad sources their ocean bound plastic directly then consigns it to their manufacturer, ensuring it meets its rigorous quality and sustainability standards.
From the first meeting to a multi-national rollout, the entire process took just 18 months.
- April 2020: Oceanworks initial meeting with Glad’s research and development team.
- August 2020: Glad tests multiple materials and project charter is set.
- October 2020: Glad samples first tonne of material.
- February 2021: Glad places initial stocking order of material.
- August 2021: Glad to be Green® 50% Ocean Recycled Kitchen Tidy Bag goes live in select stores in Australia & New Zealand.
- September 2021: Project charter is set for an additional geographic market.
- October 2021: Marketing campaign goes live.
Glad’s ability to forecast demand was an essential part of the program’s success, as it allowed Oceanworks the time to source verified ocean plastic feedstock and have it ready when needed for Glad’s production facilities.
As a brand best known for producing millions of units of plastic-based products each year, Glad is committed to also being part of the solution by reducing its reliance on virgin plastic.
Still new to the market, these bin liners have already stopped the equivalent of four million two-liter plastic milk bottles from entering the ocean. As distribution increases and more consumers adopt these bags, those numbers will grow exponentially over time.
Consumers can further participate in this sustainability journey after their purchase. Each package of these Glad to be Green bags includes a unique batch number that customers can look up online to trace exactly where they have stopped ocean bound plastic from reaching the shore with their purchase, which is powered by Oceanworks’ groundbreaking Oceanworks Guarantee.
Glad’s leadership in developing and launching this product has already prevented 350 metric tonnes of plastic from entering the ocean—and saved the equivalent of 293 metric tonnes of CO2 and more than two million kilowatt hours of electricity by switching to recycled plastic.
“We know consumers across Australia and New Zealand want to reduce plastic waste in our oceans,” said Joy Delis, Marketing Director of The Clorox Company ANZ. “Glad is on a journey to change the outcome of waste and help tackle this issue by being the first to create a completely new type of bin liner made of 50% ocean bound recycled plastics.”