The last I checked in with Method, the San Francisco-based green cleaning and personal care powerhouse was pandering to the pint-sized hand-washer crowd with a line of sweet-smelling biodegradable liquid hand soaps packaged in bottles inspired by the silhouette of Disney’s most iconic rodent couple, Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

Now, the company is looking toward marine litter, not white-gloved anthropomorphic mice, as both a source of inspiration and raw materials for a new laundry detergent bottle to be made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled polyethylene. Twenty-five percent of the plastic in the new bottle will be collected from the gnarliest gyre of them all: the North Pacific Gyre, or, as it’s better known, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

For the new sea trash-based bottle, Method teamed up with Envision Plastics to create an innovative new process that will render plastic flotsam salvaged from the ocean into a high-quality material on par with virgin HDPE.

Says Method honcho Adam Lowry in a press release:

We've created a usable bottle from ocean plastic and upcycled it into something useful that can be recycled again and again. Our ultimate goal is to raise awareness that the real solution to plastic pollution lies in reusing and recycling the plastic that's already on the planet.

Method's new packaging breakthrough was announced yesterday in the presence of none other than EPA head Lisa P. Jackson, Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills, and San Francisco mayor Ed Lee who proclaimed Sept. 15 as “Method Day.”

Today's announcement by San Francisco-based Method demonstrates our City's commitment to creative, innovative, and sustainable technology companies. By creating bottles made from ocean debris, they are demonstrating that San Francisco is a place for big ideas.

With the help of volunteer organizations, Method plans to start collecting plastic waste from beaches in Hawaii and California this weekend as part of International Coastal Cleanup Day. The new detergent bottles will hit store shelves early next year. Existing Method bottles have been made from 100 percent post-consumer plastic of the non gyre-variety since 2006. And, by the way, Pollution Prevention Week kicks off next week.

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

From gyre to laundry room: Method's sea trash recycling scheme
Just in time for International Coastal Cleanup Day, Method announces a new recycled plastic laundry detergent bottle that will be partially composed of plastic