plastic pollution in ocean

Every minute, one garbage truck full of plastics is added to our oceans. If this trend continues, there could be more plastic than fish by weight in the oceans by 2050. Cleaning up this marine pollution is a daunting task, especially because the waste is difficult to collect and repurpose.

A few inspiring products are helping to fuel the market for beach cleanups and are providing practical and stylish products. This is a win-win situation for coastal communities, the oceans, and conscious consumers.

Adidas Sportswear

Adidas and Parley for the Oceans are teaming up to create high-performance sportswear from reclaimed marine plastic waste. There are currently 110 Adidas products that contain Parley Ocean Plastic yarns, including UltraBOOST Uncaged running shoes, swimwear, tank tops, and jerseys. In 2017, Adidas sold one million pairs of shoes made from recycled ocean plastic and hopes to boost that number to five million in 2018. In fact, Adidas plans to phase out virgin plastics from its sportswear by 2024.

Aididas Ultraboost Parley Shoes
Aididas Ultraboost Parley Shoes contain Parley Ocean Plastic yarns. Image: Aididas.

4Ocean Bracelets

On a mission to help clean up the world’s oceans and provide sustainable livelihoods, 4Ocean has full-time captains and crews who clean the oceans 24/7. The company says that every $20 bracelet they sell helps fund the removal of one pound of plastics from the ocean and coastline. 4Ocean says it has removed 1 million pounds of plastics from the oceans since 2017, which is no small feat!

4Ocean was started by two American 20-something surfers that went to Bali in 2015. The friends were struck by the immense amount of waste clogging the beaches and hindering the work of fisherman, yet didn’t see anyone doing anything about it. In fact, Indonesia accounts for an estimated 10 percent of all plastic that is dumped into the world’s oceans. Purchasing 4Ocean products help gives shoppers an opportunity to be part of the solution and fund cleanup efforts.

4Ocean bracelet
The 4Ocean Bracelet supports the global 4Ocean movement. Image: 4Ocean.

Method Dish + Hand Soap

Praised for creating the world’s first ocean-plastic bottle, Method produces a biodegradable dish and hand soap in reclaimed plastic bottles. The bottles were developed through a partnership with Envision Plastics and are made from a combination of recovered ocean plastic and post-consumer recycled plastic, which results in a uniquely gray resin.

Method Dish + Hand Soap in ocean plastic bottle
Method 2-in-1 dish + hand soap comes in bottles made with a blend of recovered ocean plastic and post-consumer recycled plastic. Image: Method.

The Daypack by Solgaard

Made from upcycled beach plastic from the Maldives and the Philippines, the Daypack is a very handy product for under $100. Each bag is responsible for removing 5 pounds of ocean waste and comes with a free stainless steel straw. The intelligently designed Daypack contains hidden back pockets and compartments for gadgets and a luggage strap.

Successful Kickstarter campaigns have been instrumental in gathering support and have demonstrated a strong demand for this upcycled product. The shipping package, a reusable water-proof tote bag, is almost as impressive as the Daypack itself.

Ocean Plastics Daypack by Solgaard
Ocean Plastics Daypack by Solgaard is made from recycled plastic recovered from the ocean. Image: Solgaard.

By Sarah Lozanova

Sarah Lozanova is an environmental journalist and copywriter and has worked as a consultant to help large corporations become more sustainable. She is the author of Humane Home: Easy Steps for Sustainable & Green Living, and her renewable energy experience includes residential and commercial solar energy installations. She teaches green business classes to graduate students at Unity College and holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio Graduate School.