5 Innovative Products Made with Recycled Ocean Plastic
Creating real products from recycled ocean plastic at scale may seem unrealistic, but many innovative companies have taken the initiative to incorporate this into their manufacturing process.
For these organizations, their commitment to environmental sustainability and an out-of-the-box approach to material sourcing has led to products better for the planet and have a compelling story for consumers. Not only can they claim their products are made from recycled materials, which is becoming a must-have requirement for environmentally conscious customers, but they’re also reducing pollution of waterways, beaches, and oceans.
Here are five examples of products made from ocean plastics.
Adidas is one of the leading shoe manufacturers in the world. Their iconic three stripes have been seen on sneakers, cleats, and sportswear for generations, yet they still remain a fashion icon that also delivers great performance.
In 2015, Adidas introduced its first line of sneakers made from recycled ocean plastics. These shoes have increased sales every year, reaching 11 million in 2015. For 2020, they’re planning to produce 15-20 million shoes made from recycled ocean plastic.
Additionally, Adidas is introducing a new fabric made from recycled ocean waste called Primeblue, which will be used in other shoes the company produces.
Right now, the total cost of using recycled plastic is 10% higher than virgin plastic, but Adidas continues innovating to drive down the cost differential. And as a premium brand, Adidas can easily afford a slightly higher material cost.
The company aims to have 50% of its polyester come from recycled material in 2020, with a goal of moving that to 100% by 2024. They also have a 100% recycled shoe in the works for 2021.
Oceanworks’ very own Norton Point sunglasses are another trailblazer in the recycled fashion space. These sunglasses are made from recycled HDPE, diverting plastic waste from the oceans and reducing reliance on virgin plastic.
Not only do these stylish shades reduce pollution by recycling material that can plague beaches and waterways, but the company also pledges to remove one pound of ocean plastic for every pair sold.
When Bureo Skateboards produces a new deck, they’re not only creating a quality piece of sporting equipment, they’re reducing abandoned fishing nets creating havoc in aquatic ecosystems.
Bureo’s recycling program starts by collecting used fishing nets in Chile. This prevents them from ending up in the ocean. After being washed, the fishing nets are turned into pellets, which are then injection molded into skateboard decks. They’ve also formed a partnership with Patagonia, turning those nets into brims for caps from the popular retailer.
Fishing nets comprise 10% of the plastic found in the ocean. The company has helped spare the beaches and waters of South America from more than 600,000 kilograms of plastic waste that can get caught up in boats, harm sea life, and poison the environment.
iZettle is part of PayPal and makes credit card and contactless payment readers. An internal innovation challenge led the company to investigate how they could reduce their environmental footprint.
Working with Oceanworks, iZettle created a line of Ocean Readers. 75% of the plastic in these products comes from recycled fishing nets and ropes from the North and Baltic Seas, which border their home country of Sweden.
Using recycled ocean plastic enabled iZettle to source ocean plastics locally and close to their manufacturing facilities, further reducing the overall carbon footprint of their products. Each Ocean Reader is comprised of one-half square meter of intercepted fishing nets, which removes 1.13 pounds of carbon and saves 1.48 kWh of energy.
Method Soap Bottles
Method’s commitment to sustainability is pervasive throughout every aspect of its brand. They’re a leader in bringing environmental sensibility into the mainstream of cleaning and body care products.
Although they use recycled plastic in all their packaging, they’ve introduced a line of products specifically made from ocean plastics. These 2-in-1 dish and handsoap bottles were the first bottles made from recycled ocean plastic cleared from the beaches of Hawai’i.
Not only are their products great for the environment, but the company is using its position as a market leader and broad retail distribution network to increase awareness about ocean plastic waste and the possibilities of recycling it.
Will your product make this list?
Following in the footsteps of pioneers like these, recycled ocean plastic might be the solution for your manufacturing needs as well. Find out more about what types of plastics are available and how to find local, sustainable suppliers of these materials via the Oceanworks Marketplace.