The oceans have become dumping grounds for plastic, which is why multiple brands, groups, non-profits and concerned citizens around the world have tried to figure out what to do with all that plastic.
One Los Angeles-based startup, formed by colleagues at L.A.-based agency Team One, has come up with an idea that helps the recycle circle. In celebration of World Oceans Day, Los Angeles-based start-up MerMade launched its flagship product, a 65-gallon recycling cart made from 100% certified ocean plastic.
MerMade was founded with the goal to help clean our oceans by showing the world how useful ocean plastic can be, and its recycling bins each contain 3.5 pounds of fully traceable ocean plastic sourced through fellow L.A. company, OceanWorks. Each cart has a 10-year warranty and is itself 100% recyclable.
MerMade was conceived in 2019 by ocean lovers Tessa Hayward, Matt Hartz, Matt Lanzdorf and Jesse Blatz, workmates at Team One. The four came together for the agency’s annual Launch an Idea program, which invites teams to pitch an original idea that will solve a problem close to their hearts and benefit the larger community and gives the winners a grant to bring the idea to life.
MerMade, which won the grant, saw how the rise in plastic debris was affecting the oceans and used its seed money to purchase 1,000 lbs. of certified ocean plastic from OceanWorks. Manufactured in L.A. by partner Rehrig, MerMade’s carts feature a signature teal lid that are easy to spot and a description on the side to highlight the can’s use of ocean plastic.
“We wanted to define a more direct call to action, thinking bigger than plastic straws,” said Hayward in a statement. “We ended up uncovering a treasure trove of impact opportunities when we committed to spotlight the big and seemingly mundane plastic products that people interact with every day…Our goal is a lofty one—to get millions of pounds of plastic out of the ocean—and possibly inspire other companies to reimagine their products using ocean plastic along the way.”
Over the last few months, the company started to distribute its bins locally across Southern California, relying on word of mouth and the bins’ unique design to drum up buzz and interest. So far, the bins have found homes with local businesses.
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MerMade is currently accepting applications for bin batches on its website. Single bins are currently available for individuals and local business owners who reside in select service areas in Southern California. Bulk batches are available for order and delivery across the United States and worldwide.