A year and a half ago, I wrote a blog post about the amazing idea that Method Soap had to help lower ocean plastics. The company salvaged ocean plastics from the shores of Hawaii and made bottles out of it. Inside the bottles is biodegradable hand and dish soap.
Method said that the process was not cost-effective, but they hope to raise awareness of increasing rates of ocean debris, according to the New York Times.
When the soap came out, you could only buy it at Whole Foods, but now you can buy it online (for a low price of $5.08). It comes in two “flavors” – “sea minerals” and “sweet water.”
The blog post about Method from 2012 is one of the most visited on my site – and for good reason. Method was able to combine social good and environmental education into an affordable and useful house-hold product.
So – why aren’t more companies doing this?
We know that plastic is forever – well, pretty close to forever. The Pocket Guide to Marine Debris from the Ocean Conservancy (created as a guide to help citizens collect marine debris on their own shores) has a table of decomposition rates. Glass bottles take the cake at 1 million years until decomposition, but plastic bottles clock in at 450 years. Other large contributors include fishing line (600 years), disposable diapers (450 years), aluminum cans (80-200 years), and foamed plastic buoys (80 years).
These contributors enter the water through recreation, dumping and waterway activities (in rivers and oceans). Just a short 3 hour trip to the beach could send a plastic bottle into the ocean for 450 years.
Method is helping with marine debris clean-up and so is the Ocean Conservancy. They research and provide environmental education and educational materials. They also head coastal clean-up projects in different waterways around the United States.
Until everyone gets really good at bringing their trash with them, or until everyone cleans up the beaches, support the effort with Method soap. The Garbage Patch may be getting bigger, but we can help with just 5 buck for soap that we can use every day. Until more companies follow suit, support Method!