They’re taking reduce, reuse, recycle to whole new depths.

By Maggie Burch
November 02, 2018
Alberto L. Pomares G. /Getty Images

Even the least environmentally conscious of us got a strong sense of just how much harm we’re doing to our oceans during the big push to ban plastic straws earlier this year. If you haven’t seen the numbers, an estimated 8 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean each year, and there are around 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic just floating around the ocean right now. 

But while the finger tends to point toward things like straws and grocery bags, harmful plastics are everywhere, from your running shoes to your shampoo bottles. For the latter, Australian hair care company Kevin Murphy has a bold plan: In 2019, the brand is switching 100 percent of its packaging to recycled plastic that’s been removed from the ocean. 

While repurposing ocean trash certainly isn’t new—Adidas has a line of shoes crafted from ocean plastics and Costa has sunglasses made from fishing nets—most brands prefer to dip their toes into the concept first. Kevin Murphy, a favorite of high-end salons, is one of the few brands that’s opted to dive in completely. “Most other companies incorporate ocean plastic as a fraction of what they use, but we wanted to make a 100% switch,” Murphy told Fast Company.

To pull of the feat, Murphy partnered with Danish company Pack Tech to manufacture its new packaging. Pack Tech collects plastic waste out of the ocean, sorts, shreds, washes, and then melts it down before re-blowing it into new plastic products and containers. And most of those products are able to be recycled and reused yet again.

By making this switch, the brand will almost instantly save the oceans from the 360 tons of plastic used per year in its products and packaging. It’s a small dent in an almost insurmountable problem, but by applauding and supporting companies that choose to be accountable for their part in plastic waste production, we can do our part to help the movement catch on.  

Related: Meet Our 2017 Ocean Heroes: