5 Companies Leading the Charge in Using Ocean Plastic in Their Products
Scientists estimate that more than 5 million pieces of plastic are floating in the world’s oceans. From flip-flops to microbeads, this pollution poses a serious risk for marine animals, which often mistake plastic for food and starve to death or get caught in plastic packaging and suffocate. Giant plastic islands like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch can span for miles.
Since it’s too late to stop that trash from entering the seas, the question is how do we clean it up? Here are some creative ideas.
1. Run Green
Activewear companies are known for using synthetic fibers and plastics in their products to make them more durable. Alongside Patagonia and Nike, sportswear giant Adidas will start showcasing sleek, ocean-friendly designs. Last year, Adidas partnered with Parley for the Oceans, an organization that provides a platform for designers, to focus on creating inventive, sustainable new products. The Adidas x Parley, which hits the market later this year, will be made from recovered ocean plastic, run through a 3-D printer to create a stylish running shoe.
2. Guilt-Free Drinks
Buying six-packs of soda can have a deadly effect on sea turtles, seals and seabirds—even if you recycle the cans. The plastic rings that hold the cans together can get tangled on an unsuspecting animal’s neck or accidentally eaten, which can kill an animal or stunt its growth. Enter the Edible Six Pack Ring, a potential replacement for its plastic cousin. Created by Saltwater Brewery in Florida, these digestible rings are made from barley and other natural materials, so they are biodegradable and sea life can safely eat them. We’ll drink to that!
3. Style Guide
Pharrell Williams might not be the first person who comes to mind when you think about green innovations, but the singer turned fashion designer is making waves in the world of ecofriendly fashion. Williams’s newly released clothing line, RAW for the Oceans, is helping turn ocean plastic into wearable fashion. The line is part of his larger G-Star RAW clothing collection, which is made using a four-step process that takes plastics found along shorelines worldwide and breaks them down into a weavable clothing fiber called Bionic Yarn, a product cofounded by Williams. The music star’s new ocean-centric line includes trendy jeans, graphic tees and modern kimonos.
4. Plastic Paradise
Trash may be turning our oceans into a deadly plastic soup, but SPARK, an international architectural design firm is looking to turn this polluting mess into something beautiful. The company hopes to repurpose plastic ocean garbage into brightly colored, solar-powered beach huts along Singapore’s East Coast Park. The huts will utilize high-density polyethylene plastic—known for its flexibility—from the South Pacific Garbage Patch to create the “scales” that make up each hut’s outer shell. The artichoke-shaped structures are designed to perch atop recycled-glass stems so that future beach campers can look out across a (hopefully) cleaner ocean.
5. Clean Dishes, Clean Ocean
The cleaning-products company Method offers an ocean plastic dish and hand soap that is doing double-duty against pollution. Method recovers plastic from the ocean, prevents the creation of new plastic by recycling and helps clean shorelines, including removing over one ton of plastics from Hawaii’s beaches. Plus, its soaps are largely biodegradable and its factory uses wind energy to power production. Once a limited-time product, Method’s ocean-plastic bottles are now available across the country.
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- Redwoods are the world's tallest trees.
- Now scientists have discovered they are even bigger than we thought.
- Using laser technology they map the 80-meter giants.
- Trees are a key plank in the fight against climate change.
They are among the largest trees in the world, descendants of forests where dinosaurs roamed.
Pixabay / Simi Luft<p><span>Until recently, measuring these trees meant scaling their 80 meter high trunks with a tape measure. Now, a team of scientists from University College London and the University of Maryland uses advanced laser scanning, to create 3D maps and calculate the total mass.</span></p><p>The results are striking: suggesting the trees <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">may be as much as 30% larger than earlier measurements suggested.</a> Part of that could be due to the additional trunks the Redwoods can grow as they age, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a process known as reiteration</a>.</p>
New 3D measurements of large redwood trees for biomass and structure. Nature / UCL<p>Measuring the trees more accurately is important because carbon capture will probably play a key role in the battle against climate change. Forest <a href="https://www.wri.org/blog/2020/09/carbon-sequestration-natural-forest-regrowth" target="_blank">growth could absorb billions of tons</a> of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.</p><p>"The importance of big trees is widely-recognised in terms of carbon storage, demographics and impact on their surrounding ecosystems," the authors wrote<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank"> in the journal Nature</a>. "Unfortunately the importance of big trees is in direct proportion to the difficulty of measuring them."</p><p>Redwoods are so long lived because of their ability to <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cope with climate change, resist disease and even survive fire damage</a>, the scientists say. Almost a fifth of their volume may be bark, which helps protect them.</p>
Carbon Capture Champions<p><span>Earlier research by scientists at Humboldt University and the University of Washington found that </span><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112716302584" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Redwood forests store almost 2,600 tonnes of carbon per hectare</a><span>, their bark alone containing more carbon than any other neighboring species.</span></p><p>While the importance of trees in fighting climate change is widely accepted, not all species enjoy the same protection as California's coastal Redwoods. In 2019 the world lost the equivalent of <a href="https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation-and-forest-degradation" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">30 soccer fields of forest cover every minute</a>, due to agricultural expansion, logging and fires, according to The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).</p>
Pixabay<p>Although <a href="https://c402277.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/publications/1420/files/original/Deforestation_fronts_-_drivers_and_responses_in_a_changing_world_-_full_report_%281%29.pdf?1610810475" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the rate of loss is reported to have slowed in recent years</a>, reforesting the world to help stem climate change is a massive task.</p><p><span>That's why the World Economic Forum launched the Trillion Trees Challenge (</span><a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a><span>) and is engaging organizations and individuals across the globe through its </span><a href="https://uplink.weforum.org/uplink/s/uplink-issue/a002o00000vOf09AAC/trillion-trees" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Uplink innovation crowdsourcing platform</a><span> to support the project.</span></p><p>That's backed up by research led by ETH Zurich/Crowther Lab showing there's potential to restore tree coverage across 2.2 billion acres of degraded land.</p><p>"Forests are critical to the health of the planet," according to <a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a>. "They sequester carbon, regulate global temperatures and freshwater flows, recharge groundwater, anchor fertile soil and act as flood barriers."</p><p><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Reposted with permission from the </em><span><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"><a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/03/redwoods-store-more-co2-and-are-more-enormous-than-we-thought/" target="_blank">World Economic Forum</a>.</em></span></p>
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