Every year, millions of tons of plastic end up in our oceans, polluting the environment and causing damage to marine life. Some of this washes up on shores, even in the most pristine places on earth, some ends up in the stomachs on animals (which, in turn, may end up being consumed by humans), and some ends up in the Great Pacific Garbage patch and other ocean gyres. This problem is not going away, and more and more plastic washes up on our shores every day.
Environmentally conscious cleaning product company Method has been making their bottles from recycled plastic from the start, but has now taken that a step further and teamed up with Whole Foods Market to create the world’s first bottle made from recycled ocean plastic.
Used to hold Method’s 2-in-1 dish + hand soap, these bottles are made using a blend of recovered ocean plastic and post-consumer recycled plastic. This combination results in a uniquely gray resin, giving the bottle a unique appearance.
“Method is really demonstrating how smart business initiatives can make a big impact for our planet,” says Errol Schweizer, executive global grocery coordinator for Whole Foods Market. “We’re proud be partnering with them to raise awareness around this global issue and showcase new ways to use and reuse the plastics that are already on our earth.”
Method is aware that this is not a perfect solution, but say they are doing it to prove a point: “As a small soap company, we know we can’t clean up the world’s oceans. But we can raise awareness about the issue and use our business to demonstrate smart ways of using and reusing the plastics that are already on the planet. We think the best way to do that is by proving that solutions exist, even at a small scale.”
It turns out that the beaches of Hawai’i is the perfect place to harvest the ocean plastic needed to make these bottles. Over the past year and a half, Method employees and local beach clean-up groups and volunteers, have worked together to hand-collect more than one ton of plastic. In collaboration with recycling partner Envision Plastics, who, Method says, “were willing to take a chance on making the impossible possible,” this plastic from the beach has been turned into bottles, using an entirely new process.
“Our goal with ocean plastic packaging is to show that the most viable solution to our plastic pollution problem is using the plastic that’s already on the planet,” says Adam Lowry, co-founder and chief greenskeeper of Method. “Method’s ocean plastic bottle demonstrates in the extreme that recycling is possible. By recycling and reusing plastic to make our bottles, we turn off the tap of plastic flowing into our oceans and take the first, most important step toward solving the ocean plastic problem.”
Ocean Plastic Facts
• Plastics are estimated to represent almost 80% of the total marine debris floating in the world’s oceans.
• On average, 46,000 pieces of plastic are swirling in each square mile of our oceans.
• Every year, at least one million sea birds and 100,000 sharks, turtles, dolphins and whales die from eating plastic.
• Fish in the middle depths of the northern pacific ocean are ingesting as much as 24,000 tons of plastic each year.
• 267 species around the world are harmed by plastic. 86% of sea turtles, 44% of seabirds and 43% of ocean mammals ingest or become tangled in plastic.
Visit Method’s website to learn more about ocean plastic pollution and what the company is doing about it.