According to a 2015 study, it's estimated the oceans take in roughly 8 million metric tons of plastic a year. The damaging effects of that plastic on the environment and sea life is great. As companies begin to remove some of the plastic from the oceans, one of the challenges is what to do with this newfound trash.
Some of that ocean plastic is being turned into new, innovative and useful products, everyday items that don't look like they've been made from trash at all. Here are five of them.
Adidas Ultraboost Parley
Adidas partnered with Parley for the Oceans to create this running shoe (pictured above), which is made from upcycled waste from beaches and coastal communities and intercepted before it reaches the ocean. It's one of a series of athletic shoes and clothes Adidas makes from trash that's been saved from entering the water.
Made from abandoned fishnets and ropes that have been collected by fishing communities in Spain, these sunglasses help reduce ocean trash. Sea2See notes that plastic is the main source of raw material in the eyewear industry, but the industry as a whole doesn't focus on sustainability. They are hoping to be the leaders in changing that trend while also changing consumers' minds about premium products made from waste.
Method's plastic bottles
Method's 2-in-1 dish and hand soap is sold in bottles made with a blend of recovered ocean plastic and post-consumer recycled plastic. They know that the creation of these bottles isn't going to solve the bigger problem of plastic waste in the ocean, but they hope the bottles will bring awareness of the problem to consumers.
Bureo is trying to keep discarded fishing nets (which account for 10 percent of ocean plastic waste) out of the oceans with its recycling program in Chile. The company turns those fishing nets into skateboards. So far, the company has recycled over 80,000 kilograms of discarded materials.
Roller shades, furniture, luggage and even evening gowns, like this one above from H&M, are made from Bionic Yarn. The company creates technologically advanced raw materials from recovered plastic pollution found in the oceans and on the coasts.