Limiting plastic waste in the oceans: is your brand missing the mark?

Phil Finance

Posted 3 hours ago. About 6 minutes to read.

Picture: Each pair of Sperry Seacycled shoes reuses the equivalent of five recycled plastic bottles | Sperry

Sponsored Content
/ This article is sponsored by Oceanworks.

Reducing plastic waste is a win-win for consumers. With so many examples of early success and return on investment, there’s no better time to join the movement by committing to reducing plastic pollution and limiting the need for virgin plastic.

Of the ever growing Great Pacific Trash Patch
to viral videos of plastic straws being pulled out of sea turtles’ noses and reports of microplastics found in our seafood, consumers and the brands they love are constantly waking up to the global impacts of marine plastic pollution. . Even if you live miles and miles from the coast, ocean plastic impacts everyone.

This awareness has prompted some brands to initiate significant changes in their practices in an effort to limit the volume of plastic waste entering our waterways and oceans. These actions are now creating meaningful and measurable change.

Some of these movements are more visible than others. When Starbucks announced that it was eliminating plastic straws and Unilever in partnership with TerraCycleit’s
platform to start reusing the packaging of its deodorant and body spray products, it made headlines. Meanwhile, other brands are quietly transferring thousands of tons per month to ocean or other PCR (post-consumer recycled) sources in their quest to meet ambitious recycled content targets for 2025 and 2030.

While each individual effort can only scratch the surface of repairing the damage already done and limiting further pollution in the future, these initiatives deserve the thanks and recognition they receive. They are making real progress while inspiring other brands to take their own action.

Real Change, Real Results

While many brands’ sustainability efforts don’t get the same press as a Starbucks or a Unilever, there are countless companies making their own waves with new products and packaging that are truly game-changing when it comes to… is to reduce the demand for virgin plastic resin.

For example, trash bags might not be the sexiest product to solve the plastic crisis in the oceans, but happy created happy to be green kitchen trash bags made from 50% recycled ocean-bound plastic. Not only does each roll recycle the equivalent of two 2-litre plastic bottles, it’s also made with 50% less virgin plastic.

This is a double win for the environment, as ocean-related plastic waste is disposed of and recycled instead of polluting the ocean – and further reducing the need for additional virgin plastic. These volumes add up quickly, as Glad to Be Green bags have already avoided 230 tons of plastic heading to the ocean.

Sperry is a mainstream brand synonymous with the water, as its shoes and trusty tread are a mainstay for civilian sailors. His SeaCycled
the sneaker features linings and laces made from 100% recycled plastic and uppers made from a blend also partially made from recycled plastic. Each pair of these shoes reuses the equivalent of five recycled plastic bottles, creating a much smaller carbon footprint with every step they take.

Even our pets have a role to play in reducing plastic pollution. WestPaw’s line of Seaflex dog toys and accessories allow Fidos to play, drink and eat with products made from a blend of recycled ocean plastic and WestPaw’s exclusive zero-waste technology. Zogoflex
Equipment. These durable dog toys and accessories are safe for pooches while making the world’s oceans a little safer.

Inspire innovation

Any brand can easily reduce their plastic waste and incorporate recycled ocean plastic. Too often, inaction comes down to not knowing where to start. Luckily, there are plenty of examples to follow and solution providers ready to help bring your ideas to life.

Companies such as Oceanworks helping brand partners explore the many opportunities available to reduce their dependence on virgin plastic and include recycled materials in their design and manufacturing processes – from identifying the parts and products best suited for change to determination of the best source of recycled materials to obtain samples for testing runs.

But making great products with ocean plastic is only the first piece of the puzzle. Brands naturally want to leverage their material innovations to engage their audience and ultimately increase sales. The key is to reach them with a simple, clear message that highlights the brand’s impact and commitment to the cause.

Experience has shown that the most effective campaigns link consumer action – the purchase of a product made from recycled ocean or ocean plastic – with its measurable environmental benefits, such as the reduction of a certain amount of plastic waste that does not reach the ocean. Consumers see the tangible positive impact of their potential purchase, making them more likely to take that action and share it with others.

Maintain momentum

The circular economy is still in its infancy. There is still a lot of work to be done and countless opportunities for brands to make a significant impact and differentiate themselves through these efforts. Reducing plastic waste is a win-win for consumers; brands must continually challenge themselves to both identify opportunities and make the most of their efforts by incorporating this push for sustainability into their marketing and messaging.

Beyond visible campaigns, many big brands have incorporated reducing their dependence on virgin plastic into their short-term sustainability strategies.
Coca Cola aims to recycle one bottle for every bottle produced by 2030, while
Evian aims to use 100% recycled plastic for its water bottles by 2025. Several airlines are moving away from straws and other single-use plastics; and at least 75% of Estee Lauder Companies‘ packaging will be recyclable, refillable, reusable, recycled or recoverable by 2025.

Actions like these put pressure on the rest of their respective industries while simultaneously creating a return on investment for their efforts by boosting their brand reputation and visibility. When competitors see a brand winning over consumers and claiming additional market share through eco-responsible products and practices, they are also more likely to take action themselves.

Brands have the opportunity to get creative, both in how they increase the use of recycled plastic in their products and how they communicate about those efforts. To keep things fresh and in consumers’ minds, brands must continually push the boundaries and identify new and better ways to make products more responsibly and communicate their impact.

With so many early success stories and so many products and brands not yet fully committed to these efforts, there’s no better time to commit to reducing plastic pollution and limiting the need for virgin plastic. Don’t sit on the sidelines!

To learn more about how your brand can join the movement and make an impact, visit

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