Germany's Henkel and Waste Free Oceans have teamed up to manufacture bottles from plastic waste removed from oceans and rivers.
The collaboration will focus on removing plastic from rivers, lakes, seas and oceans and use it in manufacturing bottles for the Henkel’s Lovables laundry brand.
Over a period of at least three years, the partners are planning to remove plastic from water bodies such as rivers, lakes, seas and oceans to produce 100 metric tons of usable recycled material per annum.
Established in 2011, Waste Free Oceans collaborates with businesses and other organizations to collect plastic from oceans and rivers use to produce new items.
Waste Free Oceans co-founder Bernard Merkx said: “An estimated eight million metric tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans every year, which is the equivalent of 15 grocery bags filled with plastic for every meter of coastline in the world.
“At Waste Free Oceans, our answer is to enter into partnerships to tackle this problem together. We’re now delighted to be working with Henkel and organizing remediation actions together: It’s our largest and most ambitious partnership with one unique partner so far – aiming to remove enough marine litter from the environment to produce 100 metric tons of usable recycled material every year for at least three years.”
As part of this effort, the partners plan to initially collect plastic waste from the Danube River in this year.
The activities will target locations ranging from Bulgaria through to Hungary and Romania at a later stage, Henkel said.
For the work, the partnership will seek services of volunteers and fishermen to collect plastic waste from the river banks and beaches.
Henkel Laundry & Home Care business unit Global Research and Development head Dr Thomas Müller-Kirschbaum said: “Together, we can remove a meaningful amount of plastic from the environment, while also raising consumer awareness of marine plastic litter and the need to better protect our oceans and rivers.”
Henkel noted that it plans to manufacture more than a million bottles using recycled marine plastic waste collected through the partnership for the its Lovables brand.
Image: Henkel’s Lovables brand. Photo: courtesy of Waste Free Oceans.