Plastic has colonized our oceans, infiltrated the bellies of our aquatic species, and disrupted so many of mother Earth’s ecosystems. Daily use products, like toothbrushes and food wrappers are showing up in our oceans, and sometimes I think, how can I avoid the enemy if it has attached itself to my everyday necessities?
Fortunately, in a time of savvy Twitter handles and unapologetic positions, there are many companies and brands that have heard and share my concerns. Thankfully there are a growing number of companies all working hard to try to both clean-up and to prevent further pollution. For example, TerraCycle is a company that stands by their own law of conservation, believing for every piece of waste that is created, something new can come of it. TerraCycle is partnered with many brands that can be found all around our homes - Arm & Hammer, Colgate, eos, Gillette - allowing consumers to ship over their worn out, used, or empty products to be repurposed, free of charge. They melt down the plastics they receive so that it can be remodeled into new products. While they do restrict what they accept to a list of partnering brands, some of the items that can be shipped to TerraCycle include:
- Disposable Razors
- Food Wrappers
- Chapstick tubes
And there are other companies across the country with the same mission. 4ocean for example, is making bracelets out of the plastic they retrieve from the ocean. Zero Waste Cartel is introducing biodegradable toothbrushes and bottle-less shampoo bars for our bathrooms.
These are some of the real efforts at changing product design available to us and a great start towards the shifting of our behavior as consumers. Every turned down straw in a restaurant is powerful and every “No, thank you” is absolutely necessary.
Words By: Cassie Lopez
Graphic By: Madelynne Juenger