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Sustainability Series: Recycled Ocean Plastic

In this blog, you’ll learn about:

  • The difference between ocean-bound plastic and ocean-recovered plastic
  • Products at EarthHero that are made with ocean plastic
  • Brands at EarthHero whose packaging are made with ocean plastic
  • Ocean conservation giveback programs
  • One of our wonderful brands, Bumbleride, who take ocean plastic recovery to a new level

Ocean-Bound Plastic vs. Ocean-Recovered Plastic

When we think of “ocean plastic” we typically think of plastic scooped up from a body of water. However, there are different meanings to ocean plastic based on the method of recovery and intended use. The main terms to look for are “ocean-bound” and “ocean-recovered” plastic. Plastic is not considered “ocean-bound” or “ocean-diverted” if retrieved from formal landfill sites.

Ocean-Bound Plastic

Ocean-bound plastic refers to “plastic at risk of ending up in the ocean” which is plastic located within 50km (or about 31 miles) from a shoreline where waste management is “insufficient” or “ineffective”. 1 This definition came about when researchers realized that the majority of plastic found in oceans originated within 50km of coastlines which equates to about 8 million metric tons of improperly-disposed of plastic.

While not required, some brands that make products with ocean-bound plastic can get their materials Recycled Ocean Bound Plastic Certified. One example is our brand, LastObject (learn more in the ‘Packaging We Love’ section of this article). Comprised of two sub-program, Ocean Bound Plastic Certified and Ocean Bound Plastic Neutral, the OBP Certification Program provides educational resources and supports businesses to do better through proper training and tracking practices to help make our oceans cleaner. Founded in 2019, the France-based NGO is dedicated to addressing plastic pollution problems and makes it easy for others to do the same.

Ocean-Recovered Plastic

In contrast, ocean-recovered plastic refers to a plastic that was physically removed from the ocean2. This could include floating water bottles, discarded fishnets, or old tired found in the water. While one way to prevent pollution in our oceans is by removing and properly disposing of waste, some companies take it a step further and truly recycle and repurpose recovered plastic to create something amazing.


When it comes to ocean plastic, there are plenty of ways to get involved, whether you’re a product manufacturer, packaging expert, volunteering or donating, or something else. See who we love at EarthHero!

Products We Love

Bureo

Not only do Bureo’s skate decks pay homage to marine life through their scale pattern, but also to the fishing nets they come from.

You may know Bureo if you’ve tried out their skateboard decks, but did you know their products are made from recycled fishing nets recovered from the Chilean coastline? The founders of Bureo (David, Kevin, and Ben) loved traveling and couldn’t help but notice all of the pollution everywhere they went. So they did something about it and decided to make something meaningful out of something that brings so much concern.

Shop Bureo here!

D’BRIS Shoes

EarthHero - D'BRIS Shoes Who They Are Image - 2

Inspired by the trash they saw in the ocean, avid surfers Joe and Magnus decided to do something about it. As shoe lovers with active lifestyles, they knew one way they could make a difference was by approaching both issues at once – thus came about their innovative shoe. Featuring soles made with recycled car tires, canvas from recycled ocean plastic, and insoles made from recycled cork, their sporty shoes are perfect for the person always on the go! About 5-10% of their recycled plastic comes from local fishers and NGOs, demonstrating their commitment to solving the issue of ocean pollution together.

Shop D’BRIS Shoes here!

Packaging We Love

Captain Blankenship

EarthHero - Sea Shine Conditioner - 2
Their conditioner bottle is made with ocean-bound plastic!

While you may know them from their incredible quality skin and hair care products, Captain Blankenship takes it one step further by prioritizing ethical packaging. For instance, their shower collection (a place where glass is a definite no-no) features ocean-bound plastic. Their goal is to keep our oceans clean by removing small pieces of plastic that would end up in oceans and waterways, i.e. keeping our beaches and shorelines clean.

Shop Captain Blankenship here!

LastObject

Check out the LastRound case in the back made with ocean-bound plastic.

A brand we absolutely love, LastObject has a mission of eliminating single-use plastics and single-use disposable items from everyone’s lives. While you might be more familiar with their LastSwab innovation, their latest product is LastRound, which features a case and reusable makeup removing rounds. In helping to eliminate the need for disposable cotton balls or makeup remover pads, each LastRound can be used up to 1,750 times! Plus, the case is made with certified recycled ocean-bound plastic, keeping microplastics and floating plastics from our oceans. This isn’t new for LastObject by any means, as their other lines, including LastSwab, also use ocean-bound plastic for their colorful carrying cases.

Shop LastObject here!

Ocean-Loving Giveback Programs

Ocean Blue Projects

PC: Ocean Blue Projects

One of our newest partners, Ocean Blue Projects was founded in 2012 by the father-and-son duo, Richard, and Fleet with the mission of saving our ocean, beaches, and wildlife around the country through beach cleanups, and educational resources, and more. This year, EarthHero is partnering with Ocean Blue Projects during Earth Week by donating $1 for every order placed to clean up 1lb of ocean plastic during their Microplastic Beach Cleanup in Manzanitas, Oregon.

Learn more about Ocean Blue Projects in our blog post, ‘Non-Profit Spotlight: Ocean Blue Projects‘!

4Ocean

EarthHero - 4Ocean Recycled Earth Day Network Bracelet 3
PC: 4Ocean

One of our brands, 4Ocean can easily be called a conservation organization that happens to sell bracelets. Their mission was to address ocean plastic pollution in a way that supported local communities and safeguarded the livelihood of fishers. Their model cleans 1lb of coastline (ocean-bound) ocean (ocean-recovered) plastic for every bracelet sold. Not only do they create quality and life-changing products, but they also support education programs around the world for local communities, businesses, and governments to learn more about the growing issue of ocean plastic pollution to empower action. Beyond these efforts, 4Ocean dedicates its support to a different marine cause each month, from sea turtle habitat protection to manatee protection.

Shop 4Ocean products here!

Plastic Oceans

One of our partners, Plastic Oceans, is all about ocean conservation. Located around the world, their goal is to create educational programs and beach cleanups to both remove existing plastic from our oceans and waterways and prevent future pollution from happening.

earthhero-plastic-oceans-earth-day-2021
PC: Plastic Oceans

In 2021, we partnered with Plastic Oceans by supporting the cleanup of 1,000 sq.ft of turtle habitat per order, which ended with 1.7 million square feet protected through their Campeche Turtle Project in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula! Amazing.

Learn more about Plastic Oceans here!


Brand Feature: Bumbleride

One of our favorite brands, Bumbleride, is a big fan of making their products with recycled ocean plastic. While their product selection includes an array of baby accessories, from strollers to stroller inserts, it’s their durable and high-quality strollers that take the lead.

PC: Bumbleride

Their incredibly durable strollers are made with 100% recycled plastic, 25% of which is made of ocean plastic. They recover plastic from the shores of Taiwan near their manufacturing facility. The family-owned and operated facility has been a Bumbleride partner since 2004, constantly working to reduce their ecological footprint like zero waste production practices and packaging.


Want to learn more about our materials and ingredients at EarthHero? Check out our blogs in our Materials + Ingredients category.


  1. https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.1260352
  2. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/chemicals/our-insights/accelerating-plastic-recovery-in-the-united-states

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