By now, everyone knows the ocean is terrifyingly close to having more plastic garbage than it does fish. Norton Point's solution? Use that plastic junk to make dope sunglasses.
This Wednesday, as part of World Oceans Day, Norton Point will launch their first line of sunglasses made from recovered consumer ocean plastics as part of their #SeaPlasticDifferently campaign. With plastic collected from Haiti, the glasses not only look cool, but promote sustainable business practices.
Elite Daily had a chance to speak with Ryan Schoenike about the process of developing a product from our plastic waste and growing an eco-friendly company.
After linking up with a college buddy in March of last year, Schoenike and his partner came up with the idea to source ocean plastic for a unique line of eyewear. But despite the shocking amount of garbage in our marine ecosystem, he admits gathering it wasn't as easy as they expected, saying,
After spending a few months figuring out how to overcome that initial hurdle, they discovered a plastic collection company in Haiti called the Plastic Bank. Schoenike says,
Right away, they began building a partnership and testing samples. From there, they developed a relationship with the Ocean Conservancy, an organization that happened to be looking for an opportunity to unload the plastic they pick up as part of their extensive cleanup operation. As Schoenike explains,
Beyond reusing plastic waste, Norton Point plans to invest in the communities they collect from as well. The company plans to reinvest five percent of the proceeds to education, cleanup and mediation activities. And while this first line of sunglasses isn't manufactured from 100 percent ocean plastic (as that would be nearly impossible, says Schoenike), the company plans to invest in innovation so each new line will incorporate increasing amounts of plastic waste.
Because the Norton Point team has invested so much time and energy into researching plastic waste, we asked how we could be doing better to prevent the problem in the first place. Beyond ditching plastic water bottles in favor of reusable ones, Schoenike says,
And on an everyday level, Schoenike says plastic straws are something we typically forget about but can be easily avoided to lessen our footprint.
In keeping with the sustainable approach, Norton Point will offer an end-of-life buy back program so if anything is ever wrong with your glasses, the company will buy them back and offer 10 percent off the next pair. And that's how it comes full circle.