Ideas Packaging

Plastic Circularity: EcoStore 100% Ocean Plastic Packaging

Ecostore has announced the launch of a plastic circularity scheme, creating sustainable packaging made from 100% recycled ocean plastic. In collaboration with Ocean Waste Packaging, the scheme removes half a tonne of plastic from the ocean to create product packaging.

Sustainable packaging is a quick win for most businesses. In the complex world of sustainability, eco-friendly packaging is a pretty easy fix. There are, however, pioneers of the sustainability movement who are taking a more complex and beneficial approach through plastic circularity.

Ecostore, founded in New Zealand in 1993 by Malcolm and Melanie Rands, has always championed sustainable packaging. For the past five years, Ecostore has been using a plastic hybrid made from sugarcane for its product packaging, annually saving 4500 tonnes of carbon emissions.

Ecostore is now progressing further to focus on Plastic Circularity, partnering with Ocean Waste Plastic from Pack Tech. Ocean Waste Plastic is a packaging provider who physically removes ocean plastic and re-uses the raw material for its packaging products.

Plastic Circularity

A circular economy’s primary focus is reducing waste and providing continual re-use of resources. In our current linear world, the ‘make, use, dispose’ model has resulted in the ‘dispose’ element happening in our natural habit.

According to a World Economic Forum report, every year, eight million tonnes of plastic enters the world’s oceans. That is equivalent to one garbage truck of plastic dumped into the sea every minute.

Ocean Waste Plastic Statistics
Ocean Waste Plastic Statistics. Source: https://www.oceanwasteplastics.com/

Clearly, there is a much bigger issue to address. Removing the ocean plastic does not fix the root cause. Plastic circularity will prevent waste from entering the ocean in the first place; however, this circular system will be an enormous challenge.

In the short term, Ocean Waste Plastic and committed retailers like Ecostore provide not only a great product, but a platform for these issues to be highlighted to consumers.

“Utilising Ocean Waste Plastic not only reduces the total amount of plastic in the world but cleans our oceans of plastic. We need to create circular supply chains and re-use plastic once extracted from the oceans and from nearby areas where plastic potentially floats into the oceans.”

Per Martin Mortensen, Business Development, Ocean Waste Plastic https://www.oceanwasteplastics.com/

Ecostore 100% Ocean Waste Bottle

This Ecostore initiative with Ocean Waste Plastic will create 20,000 refillable bottles made from half a tonne of ocean waste. As with all Ecostore products, instore refillable stations encourage the repeated use of these plastic containers.

Plastic Circularity Ecostore bottle made from 100% recycled ocean plastic
Plastic Circularity Ecostore bottle made from 100% recycled ocean plastic

Ecostore will be the first brand in New Zealand to retail a 100 per cent Ocean Waste Plastic bottle.

“We want to raise awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans, as well as being part of the solution. By making bottles out of recycled ocean waste plastic, Ecostore will help create awareness and inspire environmental and social solutions posed by waste pollution in the oceans.”

Pablo Kraus, Managing Director, Ecostore https://ecostore.com/nz/

Localised Plastic Circularity

The plastic waste itself has a local footprint, with Ocean Waste Plastic collecting ocean plastic from the water in and around Bali & Indonesia for this project. As brand engagement becomes progressively more important for consumers, this localisation would allow brands of all sizes to connect further with their communities.

In the case of Ecostore, as a company founded and operated in New Zealand, the business is looking to localise this ocean waste packaging concept. Partnering with Sea Cleaners, Ecostore is aiming to use plastic waste removed from seas and oceans surrounding New Zealand for future packaging.

Sea Cleaners has removed over 8.5 million litres of rubbish from the Auckland harbour and sea since 2002.

“Businesses need to step up and create positive change and reduce their impact. Ways to do this include collecting and re-using plastic, increasing the use of recycled plastic, and modifying product packaging designs.

Hayden Smith, Founder, Sea Cleaners. https://seacleaners.com/

More info can be found at https://ecostore.com/nz/limited-edition/

Retailers & brands interested in using Ocean Waste Plastic for their own products: https://www.oceanwasteplastics.com/contact

Further Reading: Plastic Packaging Alternative: Sulapac. Read More