Ecological cleaning brand Ecover is developing a fully sustainable and recyclable plastic packaging that incorporates waste recovered from the sea.

The brand eliminated the use of fossil fuel-derived plastic with its rollout in 2010 of Plant-astic, a plastic derived from sugar cane, but has now revealed plans to tackle the huge problem of plastic waste and marine debris. The new material aims to combine Plant-astic with post-consumer recyclables (PCR) and a percentage of sea-waste plastic.

It hopes to roll out the new packaging in 2014, once trials to determine the exact proportions of recycled plastic have been concluded.

“As manufacturers we’ve got to take responsibility for sustainability very seriously” - Philip Malmberg, Ecover

“As manufacturers we’ve got to take responsibility for sustainability very seriously – to take real action on climate change and the damage done by our over-reliance on fossil fuels, creating ‘green’ products that deliver more than a nod to sustainability,” said Ecover CEO Philip Malmberg.

The company is working with Waste Free Oceans, the pan-European initiative set up by the plastics industry, and the Dagenham-based recycling plant Closed Loop on the recovery and processing of the marine plastic, which will then be manufactured into the brand’s new bottles. 

Ecover aims to raise consumer awareness of the problems of marine debris through its on-going ‘Message in a bottle’ campaign, and will use social media to engage consumers in debate to bring the issues centre stage. An art installation made from recycled rubbish by sculptor Ptolemy Elrington will be on show at Glastonbury, and later at the Ecover’s show garden at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, which will underline the ecological message of sustainability within plastic materials.