Were beyond the point where we want our packaging to be less bad- we want it to be positively better for the world.
Bio-based pioneers, Ecover have announced its on-going commitment to the health of the ocean and people by continuing with its innovative Ocean Plastic Bottle initiative. They have brought to market in the UK a detergent container made of 50% plastic collected from the ocean. Ecover believes its limited edition ocean washing-up liquid bottle is the first container to have such a high ocean plastic content. The bottles are made from eight tonnes of plastic collected from the Rio De Janeiro bay as part of a clean-up to prepare for the 2016 Olympics. The collection produced a staggering 250,000 bottles to be sold across Europe. Ecover, recently acquired by SC Johnson, are the second company to announce bottles made from ocean plastic, with P&G and TerraCycle also doing similar last month but with only 10% sourced from the sea.
Not only does the reduction of plastic waste in the ocean make for healthier, happier fish and sea mammals, it also reduces the levels of micro-plastics found in food, drink and other products.
It is estimated that over five trillion pieces of plastic are floating in the worlds oceans, causing damage throughout the food chain. By 2025, its estimated that fish in the middle depths of the northern Pacific Ocean are ingesting as much as 24,000 tons of plastic each year
This is why Ecover, who have more than 35 years experience in the sector has expanded efforts to collect plastic waste from the sea as part of their Ocean Plastic campaign.They have also announced it is to only use 100% recycled plastic for its main washing-up liquid range next year, and across all products by 2020, and is to introduce recycled plastic into its caps for the first time. The limited edition bottle will sell for a recommended retail price of 2 at selected Tesco stores nationwide.
Pollution and waste dumped into our oceans doesnt just disappear. In fact, as it continues on its lifecycle it erodes into plastic micro-particles which can act as a sponge absorbing chemicals and toxins. There is a threat that some of these toxic micro-particles can be ingested by marine life and therefore enter our food chains. Some of the compounds found in plastic have even been found to alter hormones or have other potential health effects which we dont yet fully understand.
As well as being kinder to the planet, the bottle itself has a unique design. Using biomimicry, the structure of the bottle mimics single cell organisms found in the ocean that are able to create lightweight yet solid skeletal structures.
Ecover spokesman Tom Domen said: We launched our first ocean bottle in 2014 to raise awareness of the impact of ocean plastic on marine life. Its great that the issue has shot up the agenda now but the debate for us needs to move on.We need to totally re-think plastic. How we make it, use it, re-use it and recycle it. We think industry should take more responsibility because a durable material like plastic for single use is systemically wrong.We know its just the beginning but these are the steps we need everyone to take if were serious about cleaning up the ocean and reducing our dependence on plastic.
Tom Domen is a confirmed expert speaker at World Bio Markets 2018 , 20-22 March 2018, Amsterdam.
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