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Ecover transforms plastic waste from the sea
into high quality packaging

Ecover, the world’s leading manufacturers of sustainable detergents and cleaning products is starting a new project – to combat plastic waste in the oceans. Since June, a limited edition washing up liquid has been available, the packaging of which is made out of “Ocean Plastic”. The company is working in collaboration with European fishermen to collect plastic waste from the sea.

According to current estimates, one million sea birds, 100,000 sharks, turtles, dolphins and whales die every year due to ingesting plastic. Other animals are also affected: fish in the middle depths of the North Pacific ingest around 24,000 tonnes of plastic per year – the equivalent of 480 million 2 litre plastic bottles, or the weight of 132 Blue Whales. Less plastic waste in the sea would have not only a positive impact on ocean animals but it would also lead to a reduction in the micro plastic found in food and drinking water. Ecover is leading the way in starting a systematic cleansing of the seas and has just produced the first bottles with recycled plastic waste from the ocean – known as “Ocean Plastic”.

 

Since the beginning of June, a limited edition washing up liquid has been available in Germany, exclusively in branches of Alnatura as well as in selected online shops like www.ecoverdirect.de The newly designed bottles are made entirely of recycled plastic, ten percent of which comes from the sea. The cleaning product has the scent of a fresh sea breeze, thanks to its natural aroma of beach lilacs and eucalyptus, and still has the same efficient cleaning performance as regular Ecover. The development of these bottles is a milestone in sustainability research and was initially planned as a pilot project. However, the production processes should expand more in the coming years to use even more plastic waste from the oceans. This year, Ecover used a tonne of plastic waste from the sea, in coming years this should reach three tonnes. Ecover have produced a video showing more interesting information about Ocean Plastic.

 

The plastic is collected in collaboration with the project “Waste Free Oceans”, which advocates a safe and fair waste collection from the sea. European fishermen collect plastic from waters around Europe and deliver it to collection points at the ports. Between two and eight tonnes of plastic waste can be collected per catch to be used in various recycling projects including Ecover downcyling projects.

 

Sea pollution is enormous and it is essential to rid the oceans of plastic waste. Philip Malmberg, CEO of Ecover said, “Our Ocean Plastic bottles are the first step towards a solution to the problem. Next, we need an extensive network of fishermen, recycling facilities and manufacturers to build and use existing supply chains and make it as easy as possible for manufacturers to use plastic waste from the sea. At the moment, the desire is there but the cost is too great for many manufacturers to implement it.


Tom Donen, Long Term Innovation Manager at Ecover is convinced that through Ocean Plastic bottles, governments and other authorities can be made aware of plastic waste problems in the sea, and can work together to find a solution. “We must really think about the issue of recycling and build a circular economy” says Domen.  “In the first place, we must collect all plastic waste from the sea and prevent new waste being disposed there. In order for this plan to work, everyone from governments, to the fishing industry to the consumer in the supermarket has to do their part.”

 

The limited edition washing-up liquid comes in a 500 ml bottle and is available from June 8, 2014 in the Ecover online shop www.ecoverdirect.de or www.biggreensmile.de, www.amazon.de or exclusively from Alnatura. It costs 4.00 euros. All other Ecover products are available in well stocked health food stores and drug stores as well as in the Ecover online shop.

 

More products and information at www.ecover.com

Source: sieben&siebzig GmbH