Ecover, has unveiled plans to launch a world-first in packaging in 2014 – an entirely new form of fully sustainable and recyclable plastic incorporating post-consumer recyclables (PCR), Plantastic – plastic made from 100% sugarcane and plastic fished from the sea, along with an influential art project designed to attract mass attention.
The announcement, which was unveiled in London to the media and industry leaders from the world of waste, packaging and recycling, was made by Ecover’s Chief Executive, Philip Malmberg, as part of Ecover’s ‘Message in our Bottle’ campaign and is supported by a sustainability pledge to deliver continual innovation in tackling the multiple issues linked to plastic packaging.
The announcement of Ecover’s ambition to launch a new plastic follows a series of packaging innovations from the company in recent years including the launch of 100% sugarcane-derived plastic – Plantastic – in 2010 which for the first time completely eliminated the need to use fossil-resourced plastic. This innovation was swiftly followed by a further move to tackle the growing plastic waste mountain, resulting in its most recent announcement of the inclusion of PCR into Plantastic bottles.
The planned development of new plastic packaging is, claims Ecover, typical of its continual innovation commitment and its drive to help tackle issues with waste and recycling while also future-proofing against the issues of tomorrow.
The latest innovation – the aspiration to create an entirely new plastic incorporating a percentage of sea waste into its Plantastic/PCR packaging by 2014 – adds to Ecover’s ecological packaging credentials. Research from the Marine Conservation Society reveals that plastic debris accounts for almost 60 per cent of all litter found on UK beaches and it is widely recognised that vast amounts of beach waste ends up in the sea.
Working closely with Waste Free Oceans (WFO) and UK plastic recycling plant Closed Loop, Ecover will be working with fishing communities to collect plastic* and reintroduce it into the recycling chain via its bottles. Trials have already begun on the exact mix of the three plastics which allow the brand to deliver what will be the first ever fully sustainable and recyclable plastic.
*Sea waste collection will be undertaken by existing fishing trawls with Waste Free Oceans engaging Europe’s fishing community in cleaning up floating marine debris then bringing it back to land for recycling and sorting. Boats outfitted with a special trawl will be able to collect between 2-8 tonnes of waste per trawl for cleaning and recycling, with the collected waste sent to Closed Loop Recycling’s plant in Dagenham where it will be processed and turned into plastic and used to make Ecover’s new bottles.