Ocean Waste Plastic

Ocean Waste Plastic (OWP)

According to a World Economic Forum report, 8m tonnes of plastic enters the world’s oceans every year. That’s 1 garbage truck every minute, and that rate is set to triple over the next decade, with plastic outweighing fish by 2050 if nothing is done to clean up our oceans and prevent new plastic pollution.

We’ve partnered with bottle manufacturer Pack Tech to create 20,000 Limited Edition Hand Wash bottles using only waste plastic that’s been removed from the world’s rivers, oceans and beaches. Pack Tech’s Ocean Waste Plastic leads the way in creating circular supply chains that transform waste plastic into beautiful packaging. This both removes existing waste from our environment and reduces the resources and energy needed to create new packaging.

  • The amount of OWP used in our Limited Edition bottles is the equivalent of removing over ½ a tonne of waste plastic from the sea.
  • Globally 80% of the plastic entering the ocean comes from the Asia region, (stated in the World Economic Forum Report 2016 “New Plastics Economy Rethinking the future of plastics”).
  • The OWP for our Limited Edition bottle comes from the Java Sea, Bali and a river in Jakarta.
  • Producing 1kg of OWP emits 60% less carbon dioxide than producing 1kg of virgin plastic. 

Sea Cleaners

Sea Cleaners has now removed over 8.5 million litres of rubbish from New Zealand waterways since 2002. Each day, the 4 Sea Cleaners boats collect more than 10,000 litres of rubbish – that’s ⅓ of a shipping container – from our waterways.

The not-for-profit organisation is dedicated to preserving New Zealand’s coastline for marine life and the enjoyment of people. As well as removing rubbish, Sea Cleaners educates people to protect the environment by disposing of their rubbish more sustainably.

"We are super excited to work with ecostore, Peter and Blair to raise awareness of the ocean waste problem, which hopefully prompts Kiwis to change their consumption patterns to help protect and restore our oceans."

- Hayden Smith, Sea Cleaners

"If you talk to any Kiwi the thing they say they’re proud of is their environment, it’s part of our national identity. So if we’re talking about it, we should be doing something about it and everyone can play their part. I'm optimistic we can come together to solve this problem, but there's no time to waste."

- Peter Burling

 

Sea Cleaners
Learn more

Frequently asked questions

If you’d like to find out more about another topic or can’t find what you’re looking for here, please check out our full FAQ list.

How is the Ocean Waste Plastic collected?
We partnered with Pack Tech for this bottle, who make many products out of Ocean Waste Plastic. They engage and employ local fishing communities to collect the plastic. The plastic is collected from the water, sent to partner facilities, sorted by plastic type, and ground down. It’s then sorted by colour, and thoroughly cleaned before it’s remade into new plastic packaging.
Where is the Ocean Waste Plastic from?
Our plastic has been sourced from the Java Sea, Bali and a river in Jakarta. We have a verification report of the plastic collected to make our Limited Edition bottle Ocean Waste Plastic including the exact location coordinates:

 

Java Sea

3°32’02.7”S 111°18’09.9”E

6°46’13.8”S 114°26’41.4”E

4°39’56.6”S 115°23’20.9”E

Bali

8°50’01.1”S 115°05’10.1”E

8°48’19.7”S 115°14’04.3”E

Jakarta River

2°57’41.0”S 113°02’13.5”E

In terms of carbon emissions, isn’t it worse to source plastic from overseas?
We chose to make our Limited Edition bottles from 100% recycled Ocean Waste Plastic content, which reduces CO2 emissions by more than 60% compared to producing virgin plastic. All inputs to our ecostore factory and its activities are also offset through CarboNZero. (World Economic Forum Report 2016 “New Plastics Economy Rethinking the future of plastics”)
Is the pump made from Ocean Waste Plastic also?
No unfortunately we were unable to make the pump from Ocean Waste Plastic for a limited edition range. We are looking at every opportunity to use recycled plastic in future pumps.
Why is ecostore not using Ocean Waste Plastic collected from NZ?
There is currently no Ocean Waste Plastic available in NZ for the production of packaging. The type of collection, sorting and cleaning methods required to process Ocean Waste Plastic are not currently available in New Zealand. It is essential that we have credible suppliers who can provide us with transparency around their supply chain. We partnered with Pack Tech because they work with independent auditors who document and verify the origin and material composition of each batch of plastic collected. Our plastic has been sourced from the Java Sea, Bali and a river in Jakarta. Plastic source locations were strategically chosen because of their density of waste plastic, making collection as efficient as possible. And the plastic collection also employed local fishing communities, who benefit directly from having less plastic in their waterways.
Why isn’t ecostore making all bottles from Ocean Waste Plastic?
While we’d love to be able to remove even more plastic from the ocean, the cost (which we absorb) of using bottles made from 100% Ocean Waste Plastic is much higher than making our usual renewable sugar plastic bottles. But we hope to inspire other brands to take on similar projects, which will bring down the cost of using Ocean Waste Plastic.
Is the collection and recycling activity verified by a 3rd party?
The independent organisations Ocean Watch and Ocean Works verify the ocean pick-ups and cleaning process of the collected plastic, and ensure traceability and transparency. EuroFins Laboratories analyses, verifies and documents the cleanness of the Ocean Waste Plastic material and compliance to relevant regulations.
What is ecostore doing for NZ waterways?
We support organisations like Sustainable Coastlines, and our Auckland based team is volunteering for the Keep New Zealand Beautiful G.J. Gardner Homes Clean Up Week. We have also partnered with Sea Cleaners, along with Olympic sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke to help raise awareness of the issue.
Why are you are talking about plastic pollution in the ocean when you sell plastic bottles that could end up in the ocean?
We want our plastic packaging to be reused, refilled and recycled. We don’t want it to end up anywhere near the ocean. But we need to do something about cleaning up the Oceans, hence why we have chosen to launch this Limited Edition bottle. We also have more than 60 refill stations nationwide, making it easy for people to refill and reuse their bottles.
What else can we do to reduce plastic pollution?
We want to help raise awareness of the ocean plastic problem, and we all have a part to play in looking after our environment. Consumers can keep and refill their bottles where possible, businesses can use more recycled plastic in their packaging, and governments can help through legislation and making waste streams more efficient. We’re constantly looking at solutions to packaging waste and pollution. As more sustainable or minimal packaging alternatives become available, we’ll use them wherever possible.
Why is ecostore still making plastic bottles?
We’re always looking to make our packaging as sustainable as possible. As more sustainable or minimal packaging alternatives become available, we’ll use them wherever we can. In 2014 we switched our plastic packaging to sugar plastic (made from sugarcane). This renewable resource absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows, and sugar plastic bottles are readily recyclable and refillable in New Zealand. We’re working hard to make refilling a convenient option, with 60+ refill stations (and growing) across the country, and are the first to do this in supermarkets. We’ve also begun to use a percentage of New Zealand sourced post-consumer recycled plastic in our packaging.
Is Ocean Waste Plastic a better alternative than Sugar Plastic?
One is not better than the other, but they have different benefits. Ocean Waste Plastic reduces CO2 emissions by >60% compared to virgin plastic. But our sugar plastic bottles are made from sugarcane – a renewable, sustainable alternative to petroleum-based plastic that fights climate change by capturing CO₂ from the atmosphere as it grows. We estimate that the amount of sugar plastic we use each year removes 121 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere (the same as driving from Cape Reinga to Bluff 8500 times)!
What is ecostore doing to combat plastic pollution as a business?
As well as our Ocean Waste Plastic Limited Edition, we have a number of initiatives to reduce plastic pollution. We’re increasing the amount of recycled plastic in our bottles, and helping our customers to reduce plastic by opening 60+ refill stations across New Zealand. Recently our team has reduced bottle weights, taken the scoops out of our laundry powder, and removed the inserts from our laundry liquid bottles. We also support Sustainable Coastlines and Sea Cleaners who clean up beaches and waterways around New Zealand.
How can I recycle the pump?
If you wish to dispose of the product, please put it into your local recycling collection programme. Or send it back to ecostore for us to recycle. Lids and pumps should be left on bottles to make them more likely to be recycled. Ideally we encourage people to refill their bottle rather than throw it out.
Northland isn’t recycling coloured plastic, what can I do?
Our normal ecostore sugar plastic bottles are recyclable in Northland, but the local Council isn’t currently taking coloured plastics. If you can, the best option is to refill your ecostore products at one of our refill stations. If you prefer not to refill, and there’s no recycling facility in your area, please send it back to ecostore for us to recycle.
Will this be a continuing effort or just a one-time activity?
While we’d love to be able to remove even more plastic from the ocean, the cost (which we absorb) of using bottles made from 100% Ocean Waste Plastic is much higher than making our usual renewable sugar plastic bottles. But we hope to inspire other brands to take on similar projects, which will bring down the cost of using Ocean Waste Plastic.
Where can I buy the Limited Edition Ocean Waste Plastic bottles?
Our Limited Edition Hand Wash is available at Countdown, New World and Pak'n'Save throughout New Zealand, as well as Huckleberry, Faro Foods and our online store.
How long will the Limited Edition range be available?
We’re making 20,000 of our 250ml bottles of Limited Edition Hand Wash for the whole of New Zealand. And when they’re gone, they’re gone. If you’d like to keep using your Limited Edition bottle, you can refill it at one of our 60+ refill stations near you.
Who designed these bottles? They look quite different from other ecostore packaging.
Special Group are our packaging designers and we worked with Tomas Cottle for the illustrations.
Are the bottles recyclable?
Yes. The bottles are recycling symbol 2, which means they can be recycled in your normal kerbside recycling. But they’re also designed to be refilled again and again.
Are they sugar plastic?
No, each bottle is made from 100% Ocean Waste Plastic. This is plastic that has been removed from the sea, cleaned and remade into new bottles.
What’s the fragrance?
The refreshing Ocean Breeze fragrance is all naturally derived, and has been created just for the Limited Edition.
Will the Ocean Breeze fragrance be available again?
At the moment, this is a very special Limited Edition fragrance made especially for the Ocean Waste Plastic project. But if our customers really love it, we’ll consider it.
Do you have refills available in the Ocean Breeze fragrance? 500ml or 5L?
No, but let us know if you love it so much. We might consider making some larger refill packs in time.
Where can I refill my Hand Wash bottles?
If you’d like to keep using your Limited Edition Ocean Waste Plastic bottle, you can refill it with one of our standard fragrances at our 60+ refill stations nationwide.