07 Mar 13 EU companies to turn sea plastic into bottles in pioneering recycling scheme
A Belgian company, Ecover, long-time producer of a range of green cleaning products, has embarked on an ambitious project to reclaim plastic trawled from the sea and create fully sustainable and recyclable plastic bottles.
Ecover is working with plastic manufacturer Logoplaste to combine plastic trawled from the sea with a plastic made from sugar cane (‘Plant-astic’), in what it is calling a world-first for packaging. Products made from the packaging will go on sale next year.
But the company was unable to give details of how much plastic would be retrieved or what percentage of “sea plastic” would be used in the packaging.
Ecover chief executive, Philip Malmberg, said: “We won’t have a definitive figure on the amount we will retrieve 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. 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 fish.”
The company said it would work with the industry-led Waste Free Oceans initiative and the UK recycling plant Closed Loop to recruit fishing communities working in the British waters off the North Sea to collect plastic.
Boats outfitted with special equipment will be able to collect between two and eight tonnes of waste per trawl for cleaning and recycling, while other fishermen will collect plastic debris mixed with by-catch and deposit it at special collection points. The sorted waste will then be sent to Closed Loop Recycling’s plant in Dagenham, east London, where it will be processed and turned into the plastic for the new bottles.
Trials have already begun on the exact mix of the three plastics that will allow the brand to deliver what it claims will be the first ever fully sustainable and recyclable plastic.