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What to do with ocean plastic on World Oceans Day

On World Oceans Day, we show you some interesting projects that reuse plastic fished from the ocean.

Plastic spells disaster for our oceans. Not only do large garbage patches take over the surface, small plastic parts known as microplastic are found in great depths. It’s estimated that in 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish by weight. There are many initiatives to reduce the amount of new plastic used, like recycling, banning single-use plastics, and using biodegradable material instead. But what to do with plastic that already made it to the oceans? These companies have some suggestions.

Sportswear brand Adidas and environmental organisation Parley for the Oceans collaborated to create a Manchester United football shirt made from recycled ocean plastic to highlight the issue of marine pollution. However, as with all plastic clothing, microplastic is released when the item is washed, which kind of defeats the purpose, as the microplastic is transported back to the ocean.

Adidas and Parley earlier collaborated to make sport shoes, also made from ocean plastic.

Electronics company Dell is using recycled ocean plastic in their packaging material, specifically in their new packaging tray for the XPS 13 2-in-1 laptop. They process plastics collected from beaches, waterways and coastal areas. The initial pilot project will start by keeping 16,000 pounds of plastics out of the ocean.

The ocean plastic is mixed with other recycled HPDE plastics, which ensures that impurities of the ocean plastic doesn’t effect the quality of the end plastic. The mix, with 25 per cent ocean plastic, is then moulded into trays.

Other projects
At Materia, we published a whole number of other projects that reuse ocean plastic, from floating parks to sunglasses to dildos. Want to know more about projects that remove plastic from the oceans? Click here.

Photos: Adidas / Dell / Ben Mierement, NOAA NOS