6 Companies That Converted Ocean Pollution into Innovative Products

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6 Companies That Converted Ocean Pollution into Innovative Products

Almost every piece of plastic ever made is still on the planet in some form or another. Plastic production

globally is expected to be more than 3 hundred million tons.

By 2050, when the population explodes to almost 10 billion people, it’s expected that plastic production

will triple. The problem with that is that today, only a fraction of the plastic we produce is recycled. The

rest ends up in our environment and it’s clogging our land and sea like a disease.

Across our oceans, plastic trash flows into circulation, dispersed almost everywhere. A large amount of

plastic is ingested by species across the marine world and sinks to the bottom of the sea.

Anybody can make plastic in the world and sell it to anyone across the globe. There’s no design

paradigm or barriers. In order to solve the plastic packaging problem, it’s important to effectively re-

think the entire system.

Plastic should be recycled and manufactured in a way that it can be fed back into the economy as a valuable

plastic material. Another way is to create bio-benign materials and it can enter the environment. The sole

purpose of the new plastics economy is to design an economy where plastic packaging never goes to waste.

And to do that, it’s important to have every single player in the chain to change the way they do things.

Recycling equipment has helped a great deal in making recovered plastic useful for all economic sectors.

But, marine pollution comes in many forms. They are industrial, agricultural, and urban waste sweeps into

the sea. It fuels explosions of algae that rob marine eco systems of the oxygen they need to survive.

With sustained pollution, these areas become dead zones, which already exist in more than 400

locations across the globe. But how can we change this environmental catastrophe? Let’s find out.

Here’s a Look at How Companies Are Using Ocean Plastic Waste:

1. Norton Point Makes Sunglasses out of Ocean Plastic

Norton Point is a brand about adventure and giving back to society. The owners realized that ocean

plastic is a huge problem in the environment. The ocean plastic that you commonly refer to actually

doesn’t begin in the ocean, but it’s born on land. Individuals are throwing away their trash like plastic

bottles. And they don’t have a proper way to dispose it off. Norton Point tries to change these habits by

creating a value chain. One of the problems is that the value chain for the ocean plastic does not exist.

It’s a lot cheaper to buy virgin plastic. At Norton Point, they try to show that there is value in that plastic.

They want to prove to the world that people should be buying sunglasses made from recycled plastic.

The co-founders of Norton Point, Ryan Schoenike and Rob Ianelli launched a campaign after they

discussed ocean pollution. Rob has a background in eyewear, while Ryan is experienced in social impact

campaigns. They then decided to collaborate with ‘The Plastic Bank’, an organization that pays locals a

living wage in return for plastic collected from beaches and the ocean. This initiative reined in on

unemployment and contributed to a more sustainable lifestyle.

2. Unifi Spins Plastic into Yarn

Unifi is another manufacturer that has taken an initiative to reduce plastic waste. They are manufacturers that

spin plastic into yarn. And a massive 2.2 million students have worn plastic-recycled graduation gowns over

the years. That’s how impactful this initiative has been. Based in Greensboro, North Carolina, Unifi produces

300 million pounds of polyester and nylon each year.

3. Method Makes Plastic Hand Soap

Method was founded in 2001 and at present is an established cleaning product company that

emphasizes on an eco-friendly lifestyle. The company just kept getting better over the years and

improved the quality of their products. Today, they have massively reduced the amount of plastic that

has covered Hawaii’s beaches and continuously strive for a cleaner planet by using wind energy to

power production.

4. Pharrell William and G-Star Raw Create Plastic-Made Denims

Filling up a wardrobe with a whole lot of sustainable clothing options is what singer Pharrell Williams has

been interested in for a while now. To take proposition further, he partnered with clothing line G-Star

RAW to create denims that incorporates recovered ocean plastics in fabrics. It’s a special line called RAW

for the Oceans. The line claims to have recovered a massive two million plastic containers from beaches

lining the globe’s shores.

5. Adidas and Parley Create Recovered Plastic Sneakers

Adidas and Parley have made innovative use of recovered ocean plastic to create fancy, yet functional

sneakers. Adidas x Parley is a result of the collaboration with Parley for the Oceans. It’s an initiative that

encourages creators to raise awareness about protecting ocean life by taking up multiple projects. The

environment-friendly sneakers use two kinds of recycled plastic. If you look closely, Adidas x Parley

made it a point to create a wave-like graphic on the shoes. And it perfectly represents the whole and

sole purpose of the initiative.

6. SPRAK Creates Solar-Powered Beach Huts

SPRAK is an award-winning international architectural and design consultancy that uses millions of

tonnes of plastic waste to build multiple exceptional structures along the shoreline of Singapore’s

popular East Coast Park. It strives to recycle ocean plastic waste into bright solar-powered beach huts

that make use of high-density polyethylene plastic.

Author Bio: Erich Lawson is passionate about saving the environment through effective recycling

techniques and modern innovations. He works with Compactor Management Company and writes on a

variety of topics related to recycling, including tips and advice on how balers, compactors and shredders

can be used to reduce industrial waste. He loves helping businesses understand how to lower their

monthly garbage bills and increase revenue from recycling.