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You’ve Got MAIDS® House Cleaning Blog

How to Take Plastic Recycling Full Circle

  Charlie Morrison  |    07 December 2017  |    Green Cleaning,  |    home life

How to Take Plastic Recycling Full Circle

How to Wear your Commitment to the Cause

What a mess we’re creating in the world’s oceans - a mess made of plastic. Plastic bags, plastic bottles, and plastic containers have made our lives so much easier in the few short decades since their discovery, and in return, we’ve dumped them into our oceans to the tune of 8 million pounds per year, according to the U.N. 
plastic-pollution-in-oceans.jpg

Open the Circle - Recycle on the Front End

Plastic recycling in the U.S. and Europe continues to grow, but the industry as a whole is far from a mature one, and the cost of recycling for many still outweighs the gains it produces, especially for companies. And so we discuss the issue. As the days, weeks, months, and years of discussion tick by, however, the, literally, islands of floating islands of plastic in our oceans remain, buoyant against the pressure of our collective good will.
Earlier this week, the U.N. Environment Assembly, the highest level decision-making body around when it comes to the environment, opened its doors to more than 7,000 delegates from around the world for a summit with a single goal: to restore a healthy ocean. The body moved toward a legal treaty banning plastic waste from entering the sea and while votes taken at the assembly are anything if legally-binding.
 

Facing Down Armageddon

At the assembly it was U.N. Environment Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Erik Solheim who raised the alarm, telling a CBS News crew covering the summit, "We're facing an ocean Armageddon: Every year, we're dumping at least 8 million tons of plastics into the oceans. At the current rate, we'll end up with more plastic in the oceans than fish by the middle of the century, and ultimately that comes back to our own food chain," Solheim continued. "We need to understand that if we kill our oceans, we also kill ourselves."
"We're facing an ocean Armageddon: Every year, we're dumping at least 8 million tons of plastics into the oceans. At the current rate, we'll end up with more plastic in the oceans than fish by the middle of the century, and ultimately that comes back to our own food chain," Solheim continued. "We need to understand that if we kill our oceans, we also kill ourselves."    
U.N. Environment Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Erik Solheim

Buying to Close the Circle

But what can we do about it? A lot, and not just on the front end (putting recyclables into receptacles). It turns out, with the number of companies actually producing household items and daily-use products from recycled plastics, it has become possible to buy our support of the cause. Considering many of the companies doing active back-end recycling (processing plastic waste into reusable plastic) are producing clothing and other wearables, perhaps it’s more accurate to say it’s becoming possible to wear one’s support of the cause.
 
The sports clothing brand Adidas is looking to impact change with their range of sportswear made from recycled plastics derived from the sea. From swimming shorts to running shoes, it’s clear that this type of investment in recycling is an innovative and modern way of engaging the public in purchasing products that are derived from recycled materials.
 
Patagonia is also aiming to reduce the amount of unused or “virgin” plastics being utilized throughout the globe in their supply chains. The company uses many synthetic fibers, many of them made with petrochemicals. In an effort to combat their impact on the globe, the company has recycled 82 tons of their own clothing since 2005, incorporating them into the production of new clothing.
 
Blue Jeans staple Levi Strauss has too, taken a customer-oriented approach to recycling by encouraging those buying jeans to wash them in cold water and donate them when they’re no longer wanted.
 
Chilean company Karün, well-known for its nature eyewear collection, which features shades made from the native wood of fallen trees., has introduced an Ocean collection, which features three designs that are all made from 100 percent recycled fishing nets. Keeping the movement going forward part of Karün’s profits from its ocean sunglasses go toward providing education programs and resources to the low-income fishing communities that are most affected by these forms of plastic pollution.
 
Riverbank Backpack.jpgColorado-based outdoor clothing supplier Fishpond has expanded its product portfolio to include items that supplement an active outdoor lifestyle and adventure travel. Products like the company’s “River Bank Backpack” are crafted with materials such as Cyclepond fabric, a fabric made from recycled, commercial fishing net that consumes 27 percent less natural resources in its production than other fabric options.
 
Finally, United By Blue. The company features a wide array of clothing and accessories for both men and women, as well as home and outdoor products, and while their products aren’t technically made from plastic waste, they do play an active role in getting trash out of the oceans, as for each purchase made, United By Blue removes a pound of trash from waterways and oceans.
 
To date, United By Blue has removed 363,991 pounds of trash from the oceans over the course of 176 cleanups in 26 different states.
 
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You’ve Got Maids® is a residential cleaning franchisor supporting a growing network of 78 independently-owned local franchise owners across the country. Founded in 2005 and franchising since 2010, You’ve Got Maids® is consistently ranked on Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Franchise 500” list, Franchise Business Review's "Top 200" list, and has been the recipient of numerous awards and commendations for franchising, entrepreneurship and small business. The company takes pride in providing free cleaning for women fighting cancer and is a top supporter of Cleaning For A Reason. For more information, visit the You’ve Got Maids® website at www.youvegotmaids.com, email charlie@youvegotmaids.com or call the company’s corporate headquarters at (843) 388-7887.

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