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.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
By Itai Vardi
A recent intensification in protests against Williams Partners' planned Atlantic Sunrise pipeline in Pennsylvania prompted a state senator to propose legislation aimed at limiting demonstrations.
Last month, Pennsylvania Sen. Scott Martin (R-Norman) announced his intention to introduce legislation that would pass the costs of law enforcement responding to protests onto the demonstrators. Martin also helped introduce a different bill that would criminalize protests at natural gas facilities.
The so-called "first and last mile" problem is one of the biggest hurdles with public transportation. How do you encourage more people to take Earth-friendlier commutes when their homes are miles away from the train or bus station?
One solution, as this Estonian electric scooter company proposes, is to simply take your commute with you—literally. Tallinn-based Stigo has developed a compact e-scooter that folds to the size of a rolling suitcase in about two seconds.
[Editor's note: I'm still in shock after hearing the news that Lucia Grenna passed away in her sleep last week. When we first met in April of 2014 at a Copenhagen hotel, I was immediately taken by here powerful presence. We spent the next couple days participating in a Sustainia climate change event where Lucia presented her audacious plans to connect people to the climate issue. I had the chance to partner with Lucia on several other projects throughout the years and work with her incredible Connect4Climate team. I was always in awe of her ability to "make the impossible possible." Her spirit will live on forever. — Stefanie Spear]
It is with a heavy heart that Connect4Climate announces the passing of its founder and leading light, Lucia Grenna. Lucia passed peacefully in her sleep on June 15, well before her time. We remember her for her leadership and extraordinary ability to motivate people to take on some of the greatest challenges of our time, not least climate change.
By Stacy Malkan
Neil deGrasse Tyson has inspired millions of people to care about science and imagine themselves as participants in the scientific process. What a hopeful sign it is to see young girls wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the words, "Forget princess, I want to be an astrophysicist."
As Trevor Noah noted during The Daily Show episode last night (starts at 2:25), the real reason Trump has these rallies is to "get back in front of his loyal crowds and feed of their energy." Noah believes that "Trump supporters are so on board with their dude he can say anything and they'll come along for the ride."
By Katie O'Reilly
Two years ago—long before coal became one of the most dominant and controversial symbols of the 2016 presidential election—Bloomberg Philanthropies approached production company RadicalMedia with the idea of creating a documentary exploring the U.S. coal mining industry. Last spring, they brought on Emmy-nominated director Michael Bonfiglio, tasked with forging a compelling story out of the multitudes of facts, statistics and narratives underlying the declining industry.