We’ve learned all about the problems associated with single use plastics. And we’ve also learned about the issues with those single use plastics, or plastics in general, being made from 🛢petroleum.
Not only does the extraction of this material use resources, it’s also not sustainable from a pollutant standpoint, and a finite resource (oil) standpoint.
This is why we should do away with single use plastics, and the leftover reusable things that are made from plastic, we should seek alternative materials for.🌱♻️
Which is what we at LastObject have been doing from the very beginning where possible. LastSwab’s case, which accounts for most of the product’s plastic, has always been made from plants.
But now, we’ve decided to make LastSwab’s case from recycled ocean plastic!🌊
Why ocean plastic?
Plastic has been found in 60% of all seabird’s stomachs and 100% in the stomachs of all 🐢sea turtle species.
Currently, 150 million tonnes of plastic circulates our oceans at any given time. It’s estimated to be about 8 trillion pieces. That plastic isn’t going away in our lifetime, which means it’s up to us to clean it up. And that was our thinking in making LastSwab’s case from ocean plastic!
Since an estimated 8 million tonnes enter the ocean every year, we should also be focusing on reducing our consumption of plastics of all kinds. Luckily, that’s the main job of LastObject products, to provide an alternative to single use items.
So it’s an added bonus that we are reducing plastic that’s already in the ocean by using it as LastSwab’s case material.
Why not plant based plastic for this product?
Plants still have a footprint, and can sometimes have a pretty large one when not grown correctly.
Plant based plastic is an alternative to petroleum based plastic, which is great! This means:
- Less demand for a finite resource like oil
- Toxin free, should it wind up in the environment somehow
- Will biodegrade if disposed of properly
The third one, can actually be a problem. If a plant based plastic is thrown into the 🚛landfill, it won’t degrade very well because of the nature of landfills and how they prevent mostly everything from breaking down properly.
Since the breakdown of plant based plastic is such an added benefit, it ends up putting a lot of weight on the consumer to make sure it is disposed of properly. Sadly, a lot of companies are shifting the weight on the consumer instead of themselves, and then marketing their products as “green.” We don’t want to do that.
We wanted to prevent this where we could, and instead put the 🏋️♀️weight on ourselves as a company in finding a material that has a lower footprint than raw petroleum based plastic.
How else will this change the case?
You won't notice much of a difference in the case other than the color. The recycled ocean plastic creates more of a grey base as opposed to a white one. So, expect the colors to be slightly different than they used to. And we will try to update all photos as soon as possible.
Is recycled plastic always better?
The short answer? It’s complicated.
There are several different aspects to this that tend to complicate things. First, the footprint of materials can vary widely based on how they were grown (when talking about plants) and how efficiently they were sorted and cleaned, when we are talking about recycled plastic.♻️
Another aspect is where the material originated from, and therefore how long it had to travel.
How sustainable is the process of manufacturing between the two? Which can vary greatly from company to company.
And lastly, how the product is usually discarded, and the issues that arise when not done correctly, is also something that changes the footprint.
So no, recycled plastic isn’t always better, because these answers are very dependent on the specific facilities, materials, locations, and processes in place. It is all very situation based.
In this case (🤭lol get it?), we found for LastSwab it is better. The reason being because cotton swabs are often found in the ocean more than anywhere else, and while we’ve created a product to reduce further pollution, we wanted to begin cleaning up what’s already there as well.
Another reason is that the low footprint of plant based plastic is only really low if it is discarded correctly and left to biodegrade. That puts a lot of pressure on you, the consumer. We wanted a material that is a lower footprint, even if it gets thrown in the landfill, although it can be recycled to lower the footprint even more!
We're so happy to be partnering with ZEAPLAST in order to start cleaning up ocean plastic that's already there, all while reducing future pollution too!
We know this change may seem small, and either way it’s better than petroleum based plastic, but we want to create a product that makes the most sense sustainably, that doesn’t put the burden on the consumer.
We want a product that doesn’t just reduce future pollution, but also goes the extra mile and helps clean up the pollution that’s here right now.
Welcome to the new and improved LastSwab case!🙌🏽
Written by Aaron Burr
A writer dedicated to working solely with companies on a mission to help the earth and people on it.