New packaging to contain marine plastic scrap

New packaging to contain marine plastic scrap

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Ecover, a Belgian maker of environmentally conscious cleaning products, has launched a new brand of packaging that will incorporate plastics recovered from the ocean.

"We are trying to set an example by using packaging itself to help solve a problem partly created by packaging waste, and we hope that many other brand owners will follow our lead," said Philip Malmberg, CEO of Ecover, in a post on the website of the trade association Packaging Europe.

Ecover will work with Waste Free Oceans, a group that works on the problem of marine debris, to send out a dedicated vessel to recover plastic waste from European coastal waters. The project will also set up collection points for the marine debris picked up by European fishing trawlers. Boats outfitted with the customized equipment are expected to collect between two to eight tons of plastic scrap per trawl. The collected material will be sent to a facility in the U.K. run by Closed Loop Recycling for processing.

Malmberg expects the bottles containing the unique feedstock to be on the shelves by early 2014. Eighty to 90 percent of Ecover's product range will contain the feedstock, which will be mixed with a plastic made in part from sugar cane.

The Guardian reports that the company did not give details as to how much of the plastic would be retrieved from the sea or what percentage of it would be used in the new bottles.

"We won't have a definitive figure on the amount we will retrieve but we are just hoping to get as much as is possible and give fishermen an incentive to join the initiative and help clean the seas," Malmberg told the paper. "We want to get the sea waste in as much of our packaging as possible — it will always depend on the amount and quality of the plastic they have managed to capture."

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