The latest news from the world of sustainability, the latest views from the brains behind Best Foot Forward
Blog by Sarah Daly - Marketing Consultant, 7 March 2013
Ecological FMCG manufacturer Ecover has announced a major innovation in its aim to reduce its impacts. From 2014 all its bottled ranges will be sold in their new fully sustainable and recyclable plastic which is made from a combination of post-consumer recyclables (PCR), Plantastic - made from 100% sugar cane and waste plastic fished from the sea.
Since 2011 Ecover has been using Plantastic bottles which are 100% renewable, reusable and recyclable. However, this latest innovation sees the addition of PCR (as currently only 30% of recycled plastic is actually reprocessed in the UK) and sea-plastic waste which will be retrieved from UK waters. The fishermen will be incentivised to capture the waste plastic, which they would normally throw back into the sea, in specially provided bags which can net up to 8 tonnes of plastic per trawl. The bags will then be collected from harbour-side silos for reprocessing at Closed Loop' s Dagenham factory ready for incorporation into Ecover's new packaging. The exact mix of polypropylene and polyethylene along with PCR and sea-plastic is still being defined, but Ecover is confident the new containers will be rolled out in 2014.
According to the Marine Conservation Society, 60% of beach waste is from plastic derivatives, causing huge contamination to our seas and shores. Working closely with Waste Free Oceans (WFO), Ecover is stimulating the UK's fishing communities to use the specially-designed trawl to collect at least some of these otherwise damaging plastics.
However, the business case for this type of innovation only truly stacks up when consumers appreciate the difference between the container and what's in it, in comparison to other household products. So Ecover is dovetailing its recycling initiatives with extensive consumer-facing messaging, primarily in the form of art. The 'message in bottle' includes an art installation by renowned sculptor Ptolemy Elrington which will launch at Glastonbury 2013 and later form a part of the EcoverRecovery Garden at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. The installation will then go on tour with strong messages about waste and why it is so vital to recycle and choose products with fully sustainable packaging.
Interview with Philip Malmberg, CEO of Ecover talking about the business case for pioneering and innovation: https://www.youtube.com/audio?v=By7cSIAgdDI&video_referrer=watch
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