Beach Cleanups Spur Plastic Production
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a giant mass of floating debris and trash located between Hawaii and San Francisco. The Garbage Patch is about twice the size of Texas and a result of swirling currents and tides that bring trash from all over the world to one remote and often overlooked location. However, for some “collection beaches” on the islands of Hawaii, the reality of the patch is all too apparent. Garbage from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch washes up on the shores constantly, creating a shoreline of colorful plastic garbage rather than the white sandy beaches traditionally associated with the island state. This sad sight was enough to spawn Adam Lowry’s idea for a plastic made not from virgin plastic but from materials recovered from the Pacific Ocean.
Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan founded and own Method, a company that produces non-toxic yet powerful “green” cleaning supplies in the Bay Area. Their business functions on the principles of sustainability and economic durability. By disrupting business as usual, they have created a national company that has broken the boundaries between going green while maintaining modern visual appeal and product effectiveness.
Their latest success has been in the partnering with Southern California based Envision Plastics, a recycling company that figured out how to produce an effective bottle made of plastic removed from the ocean. Beach cleanups in California and Hawaii provided the plastic while Envision Plastics converted it into Method’s new plastic bottles, each one removing 10 grams of plastic from the ocean. While all of Method’s plastic bottles are made of 100% post-consumer recycled plastic, the new bottles will be a hybrid: 25% waste recovered from the ocean, 75% land recovered plastic.
While Method does not aim to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch because it is too remote and too large, the company does hope to change the way Americans buy plastic products and raise awareness about ocean waste. Their green business model has been an inspiration to other eco-friendly start-up companies as their techniques and business practices could potentially help save the American economy while preserving our natural resources.