How to Blend Ocean Plastic to Achieve Performance and Costing Goals
Currently, the price of recycled ocean plastics is on average 15-20% higher than virgin plastic. At times this can blow the hair back on any procurement team, as they are tasked with shaving costs in order to hit target price points. A great way to counteract the increase in cost, is to understand the value in sustainability.
Up until recently, recycled plastics were seen as either too low quality or too high of a price. The means did not justify the ends to incorporate into products. However, consumer demand has shifted largely due to plastic pollution awareness and education. We now see a shift with procurement teams engaging in recycled ocean plastics.
To start, we recommend blending as the first exercise for a company to get their foot in the door with ocean plastics. The first project is typically the hardest to undertake and we have found that by blending ocean plastics with standard post-consumer-recycled plastics, you create a winning outcome.
A lot of brands think they need to use 100% ocean plastics to be taken seriously. This is not the case at all. That’s like thinking the first Apollo mission had to reach the Moon. Incorporating ocean plastics is a process and typically this is a new endeavor for a company and their nominated manufacturer.
"Manufacturing with ocean plastics can be daunting. At Oceanworks, we're helping de-risk and streamline the process from start to finish." -Rob Ianelli, CEO, Oceanworks
Blending allows engineers at the product and manufacturing level to have further control of the material throughout the manufacturing process. This also ensures a higher likelihood for success on the initial trials, and ultimately production runs. We strongly advise a crawl, walk strategy to be put in place so that internal expectations aren’t set too high and too much strain is placed on your team.
From a marketing perspective, blending also allows room for growth in messaging. The gathering of new data points ensures that you are on the right track with your customers. As we have seen with many of our partners, consumers are willing to engage in the concept of blending, as long as the value of ‘why’ is clearly communicated.
The notion of trying goes a long way in the world of ocean plastics. Brands that are benefiting the most, are the ones who are currently in the market or about to be in the market. Taking the time, resources and capital to deploy sustainable solutions within your product line is a noble mission, and one you will find simple and repetitive once your first product starts to be produced.
If you’re already engaging with Oceanworks, or you’re just considering your options, you’re in the right place. Every brand should have these facts to rely on, in order to make the best possible decision with the greatest net positive outcome.
It’s a process and we’re here to help.