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Plastic-Free July: 8 Companies Putting an Emphasis on Recycling

Plastic-Free July can be a great opportunity to re-evaluate not only what items we use on a daily basis, but the sustainability of the companies we buy from. We’ve compiled a list of 8 companies that are putting a heavy emphasis on recycling, whether it is through how we dispose of their products or how they produce their products. Let’s take a look at how these companies are putting recycling at the forefront and contributing to the Plastic-Free July movement.

#1. Klean Kanteen

Hopefully you are already participating in Plastic-Free July by using reusable water bottles, but just how sustainable are the bottles you are using? Klean Kanteen is a reusable drinkware company selling stainless steel mugs and water bottles.

  • Their products are made with 90% post-consumer recycled stainless steel. This includes reclaimed industrial equipment and everyday products like kitchen appliances.
  • Their optimal 18/8 stainless steel quality (18% chromium and 8% nickel) requires 10% virgin steel. However, Klean Kanteen upcycles virgin (newly made) steel scraps from other projects for that portion.
  • By 2023, 95% of their products are going to be made from recycled steel.

#2. Adidas x Parley for the Oceans

Adidas has collaborated with Parley for the Oceans to create a new line of Adidas shoes made with recycled plastics from the ocean.

  • The Primeblue line is made of 100% recycled materials, totaling 50% recycled polyester and 50% recycled Parley ocean plastic.
  • Each pair of shoes eliminates 11 plastic bottles from entering the ocean.
  • By 2024, Adidas’ goal is to eliminate virgin polyester in all of their shoes.

In addition to their line made from recycled ocean plastics, Adidas has additional lines of products that use other post-consumer waste.

Furthermore, Adidas has an overall focus on a circular economy model by offering a return program called Made To Be Remade. This program allows you to return these products once they are worn out, and Adidas will break them down and turn them into something new.

#3. Preserve

There is a lot of post-consumer plastic waste in the world right now and this company is doing something to use these plastics for their products. Preserve is a company selling compostable and recycled household and hygiene products. These plastic products are items you can still feel good about using for Plastic-Free July since they are helping reduce plastic pollution through recycling.

  • Their plastic products, which include toothbrushes, razors, food storage containers, and table top items, are made with 100% recycled plastic.
  • Even the packaging for their products uses a high percentage of recycled materials.
  • Preserve also has a mail-in recycling program called Gimme 5 where , where you can send in any #5 plastics, which include common items such as yogurt containers, cereal box liners, and plastic bottle tops, to be used in production for their products.
  • Their Preserve Ocean Plastic Initiative (POPi) makes several of their products from plastic found on coastlines and waterways before it reaches the ocean.

#4. Warby Parker

Warby Parker is a carbon-neutral and sustainably driven eyewear company dedicated to trendy and affordable eyewear.

  • Warby Parker Home Try-on boxes are made of 100% recycled wood pulp and are fully recyclable. Other packaging such as their 90-day SCOUT contact lens boxes are made from 100% recycled PET plastic, one of the most universally recycled plastics.
  • In 2021, Warby Parker is believed to have saved over 1,500 pounds of plastic just by removing the poly bags from the frame kits shipped from labs to retail stores.
  • They also developed a demo lens recycling partnership last year, breaking down the PMMA (acrylic) demo lenses to repurpose them into other materials.

#5. Pela

Pela is a climate-neutral certified company selling biodegradable phone cases since 2010.

  • The first 100% compostable phone case, made from renewable resources. Composting an item that is usually made from plastic, is a great way to participate in Plastic-Free July.
  • They extend their product life cycle with their Pela360 program, repurposing the materials before discarding them
  • They have sold over 1 million cases, preventing a total of 587,280 pounds of plastic from landfills

#6. LUSH

Even though bath products themselves don’t have plastic in them, the packaging can really add up. Lush is a cruelty-free bath and low waste company selling handmade bath and body products. By tackling their product packaging with a variety of post-consumer waste and recycling solutions, they are an excellent company to switch to for Plastic-Free July.

  • All in-store shopping bags are made of 100% post-consumer waste.
  • Some of their fabric Furoshiki gift wrap is made from recycled plastic bottles.
  • The packing peanuts used for online orders are made from a dissolvable vegetable base material that can be added to your compost.
  • Most of the plastic packaging they do use is made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic.
  • Lush will also take care of recycling for you if you bring back any of their packaging. When you bring 5 of their signature black pots back, you even get free product!

In addition to using recycled materials, compostable materials, and recyclable materials, the waste-free concept behind many of the Lush products reduce the need for plastic waste altogether. Their solid products, such as solid shampoo and conditioner bars, bubble bath, henna hair dyes, and massage bars make the need for plastic packaging unnecessary. Since 2005, Lush has stopped 124 million plastic bottles from ever being produced by selling their shampoo bars alone.

#7. Suga

Yoga mats are usually a problematic item due to their lack of recycling capability, but Suga is a USA-based company making quality yoga mats out of recycled materials which are also themselves recyclable.

  • These USA-made yoga mats are made entirely of recycled wetsuits.
  • Since neoprene is not biodegradable, Suga has made it their mission to upcycle this fabric into a completely new and functional product.
  • The mats are entirely recyclable, and their Cradle to Grave (C2G) program allows you to send back old mats and they will recycle them for you.

#8. Paravel

Paravel is an eco-friendly luggage and organization company dedicated to sustainable travel essentials.

  • As of this year, Paravel’s recycled fabrics have upcycled over 4.7 million plastic water bottles.
  • Their Negative Nylon fabric is approved by the Global Recycle Standard and is made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic.
  • Paravel’s carbon-neutral suitcases are not only made from recycled polycarbonate, but also feature vegan leather accents, recycled zippers, and a suitcase lining made from 15 upcycled plastic bottles.
  •  The cotton they use is made from a blend of upcycled fabric scraps and post-consumer garments.

Buying Power

As you reevaluate the products in your home for Plastic-Free July, consider how companies are dealing with the plastic that is already out in the world. Do your brands use post-consumer waste to make new products? Do your brands make products that are able to be recycled? Do the companies you buy from consider how packaging can be disposed of ethically and sustainably?

You can use your buying power to tell companies that you want recycling to be at the forefront of their product development and that you want to tackle the plastic pollution problem with more recycled products and products and packaging that is easily able to be recycled.

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