Lush Adds Ocean Plastic to Its Packaging

©. Lush Cosmetics

The cosmetics company has begun collecting ocean waste around Vancouver Island and adding it to bottles and pots.

Lush Cosmetics has recently announced that it will start using ocean plastic in its packaging. The project began in 2015 when Lush first partnered with Ocean Legacy, an organization that collects waste plastics from the Pacific Ocean and shorelines around Vancouver Island, Canada. With the collection sites being so close to Lush’s North American headquarters in the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, this seemed like a good fit.

The mission also aligns well with Lush’s commitment to no animal testing. Plastic currently threatens marine life very seriously, as many creatures mistake it for food in the water and fill their bellies with plastic garbage, which results in choking, suffocation, and starvation (by creating a false sense of satiety), not to mention pain.

As scientists speak about the urgency of stanching the flow of plastic into waterways, warning that there could be more tons of plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050, there is the added issue of figuring out what to do with plastic that’s been pulled out of the water. In an ideal world, it would be upcycled into new products that would eventually eliminate the need for virgin materials, but so far that’s only happening on a limited scale, with a few companies making products like sunglasses, bathing suits, leggings, and skateboards, which are marketed as novelties.

Ocean Legacy plastic collection

© Lush Cosmetics -- A heap of plastic collected from Vancouver Island, B.C.

Upcycling ocean plastic needs to become mainstream, which is why it’s good for a big and reputable player like Lush to get on board. After volunteers collected 27 tons of plastic alongside Ocean Legacy, Lush came up with a way to incorporate it into its black pots and clear bottles, combining with other post-consumer plastics to produce containers that are made from entirely recycled plastic.

Products that contain ocean plastic include Plum Rain Shower Gel, Whoosh Shower Jelly, Dirty Springwash Shower Gel, and Charity Pot Lotion.

Lush says the project will expand and that the containers will contain greater quantities of ocean plastic over time.