Ecover ocean bottle 2017

The design mimics the intricate skeletons of oceanic micro-organisms

Ecover has launched a washing-up liquid bottle made with 50% recycled ocean plastic and pledged to use 100% recycled plastic across its entire household portfolio by 2020.

The new pack was the first of its kind by virtue of its percentage of waste plastic, according to the ecological household brand. It contains ocean plastic collected from the beaches of Rio de Janeiro.

Residents of local favelas gathered eight tonnes of PET and polyethylene for Ecover partner Waste Free Oceans, a public-private foundation that upcycles ocean plastic. After being cleaned and shredded in Brazil, it was shipped to Portugal to become 250,000 bottles.

Their design mimics the intricate skeletons of radiolaria – oceanic micro-organisms – which allows the bottles to be both strong and lightweight. They are rolling out from today (25 October) across Europe, including selected Tesco stores in the UK, as a limited-edition washing-up liquid with a sea kelp & orange fragrance (rsp: £2).

Featuring an illustration by graphic artist Freya Morgan, the transparent pack is the latest in an annual ocean bottle series from Ecover, and its first to be 50% recycled plastic.

It comes as the Belgian brand has vowed to use only 100% recycled plastic in its washing-up liquid range by 2018 and introduce recycled material in its bottle caps for the first time next year. Ecover plans to be 100% recycled plastic across all products by 2020 – with the ambition to move on to alternative bio-based and biodegradable packaging.

The project was well on course, with the first 100% recycled plastic packs likely to be unveiled ahead of the 2020 target date, said Tom Domen, long-term innovation manager at Ecover. “We need to totally re-think plastic: how we make it, use it, re-use it and recycle it. Industry should take more responsibility because a durable material like plastic for single use is systemically wrong.”