Plastic trash has created a global problem. Luckily, some global companies are pitching in to help clean it up, use it up, and stop more of it from being thrown away. In honor of Earth Day 2018 and Earth Day Network’s “End Plastic Pollution” campaign, here are seven companies committed to cleaning up plastic pollution:
Adidas – Adidas has partnered with the non-profit Parley for the Oceans to develop a shoe made from recycled marine plastic. The “UltraBoost” sneaker uses an average of 11 plastic bottles, incorporating recycled plastic into shoe laces, the webbing and lining on heels, and sock liner covers. UltraBoosts are ultra popular – one million of the shoes sold in 2017. No wonder Eric Liedtke, the head of Adidas’ Global Brands unit, told the SXSW conference that the company wants to produce all its products from recycled ocean plastic by 2024. Meanwhile, Adidas has also started phasing out plastic bags in its 2,900 retail stores worldwide.
Method – Method made its mark on the cleaning products world by creating cleansers that contained safer ingredients in stylish bottles consumers wouldn’t mind keeping on their countertops. The new Method bottles broke new ground again by being the first to be fashioned from plastic waste collected from the ocean. Here’s why – and how – they did it.
Norton Point – This sunglasses manufacturer exists to make sustainable sunglasses from ocean plastic and plant-based materials. Norton Point collects plastic from the waters in and around Haiti, then processes it into pellets and molds them into frames for The Tide Sunglasses collection. The Massachusetts-based company also gives back 5% of net profits to global clean-up, education and remediation practices.“We believe that plastic flowing into our oceans is one of our greatest environmental challenges,” company co-founder Ryan Schoenike has said. “We have chosen to become part of the solution.” To that end, Norton Point has promised to clean up one pound of plastic from the ocean for every product it sells.
West Paw – Given that ocean plastic harms so many aquatic animals, there’s something sweet about the fact that West Paw uses recycled plastic for the toys and beds it makes for the land animals we love the most – our pets. The company’s “IntelliLoft” eco-fiber is stuffed into dog pillows and beds, and woven into plush toys like the cute Madison Moose. To date, using IntelliLoft has helped West Paw divert 12.6 million plastic bottles from the landfill – and that’s not something to bark at.
ClifBar – The power bar company made a significant commitment to zero waste fittingly on Earth Day 2001. Initially, they switched to recycled paper and discouraged disposable dishes. Today, they’ve stopped shrink-wrapping the boxes that contain their bars, and are making the boxes themselves from 100 percent recycled paperboard. The company’s SHOT BLOKS packaging was redesigned to save 25,000 pounds of packaging a year. By the way, ClifBar is no slouch on the climate change front, either. Its 115,000 square foot headquarters is LEED Platinum certified. A majority of its electricity and 70% of its hot water come from solar. And the innovator’s COOL HOME PROGRAM provides employees with up to $1,000 annually to make eco-improvements to their homes.
Waitrose – The venerable British grocery store chain has committed to removing all disposable coffee cups – including their plastic lids – from its shops by Autumn, 2018. “We believe in doing everything we can to protect our environment,” declares the company on its website. “While we know that we need to do more, removing disposable cups is the right thing to do.” Waitrose says the move will save more than 52 million cups each year, as well as 221 tonnes of plastic and 665 tonnes of paper annually. Waitrose’s action is in stark contrast to that of Starbuck’s, which has become the target of the “Break Free From Plastic” global campaign demanding that the coffee company take more responsibility for its contribution to the growing plastic pollution crisis.
Rubber Maid – It’s harder to clean up pollution than to prevent it from happening in the first place. Good thing Rubber Maid is around. The company has long been in the business of selling reusable food containers that can replace plastic wrap, plastic lunch baggies, plastic water bottles, plastic cleanser bottles…you get the point. But Rubber Maid doesn’t only focus on reducing plastic waste. Its Green Living website page also links to the federal government’s Energy Savers website, provides tips on how to recycle, and can help you live “simply without clutter.” All good!
Want to learn more? Earth Day Network has compiled this terrific primer and action tool kit that even gives you a calculator so you can see how much plastic you really use every day. And learn what plastic has to do with clean air and why you should care about ditching plastic pollution.
Photo via Norton Point