KEVIN.MURPHY swaps to 100% ocean waste plastic

We speak to the celebrated Aussie stylist to find out more.

From August, KEVIN.MURPHY have pledged to start swapping their old plastic bottles out for those made with with 100% Ocean Waste Plastic (OWP), starting with cult classic Angel.Wash.

We caught up with the man himself, Australian stylist Kevin Murphy, to find out more.

“In 2018, we made the decision to manufacture KEVIN.MURPHY bottles with 100% Ocean Waste Plastic (OWP),” says Murphy. “China used to accept waste from all over the world, but now they are no longer accepting it, so the waste goes to developing countries who can’t afford not to take it, and have no solutions to deal with it. As a result, eight million tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans every year, which equates to 150 million tons of plastic littering our oceans.

“Because of this devastating truth, we made the decision to move to a more responsible manufacturing platform. You will begin to see KEVIN.MURPHY bottles made from 100% OWP starting in August of this year, working towards full line conversion of our bottles in 2020. Every time you choose a package that is made from OWP versus virgin plastic, it’s the equivalent of removing 3-4 plastic bags from the ocean.

“Other manufacturers have committed to using 25% or 30% OWP in their packaging, which is a good start. We decided to go all in and make 100% of our products from 100% OWP. This includes the caps, pumps, over-caps, litres… everything. We’re even changing the design of our packaging to suit the new material.

“We will produce 14.5 million pieces of plastic in the making of our bottles next year from ocean waste, which means we will lift 360 tons of plastic from the oceans and rivers. This is like removing 14 million plastic bottles from the ocean.”

The process of turning plastic ocean waste into KEVIN.MURPHY bottles.

 

Will OWP just end up in the ocean anyway?
We believe that every great movement starts with one small step. While we can’t control what people do once they purchase a KEVIN.MURPHY product, our hope is that by educating consumers on the importance of safe packaging disposal, together we can make a difference, one bottle at a time. This OWP initiative is also intended to start an industry- wide conversation about the heart of the issue: safe packaging disposal. KEVIN.MURPHY aims to change the industry standard, and will transparently share its eco-friendly processes so other brands can follow suit.

How does converting your packaging to OWP fit into your larger vision for KEVIN.MURPHY?
We are a small entrepreneurial company so we are able to make quick decisions. And when we made this commitment, we decided to go all in. Some brands are using 10, 20 or maybe 30% OWP which is a great start. Our packaging will be made out of 100% OWP.

What’s the actual process of turning plastics in the ocean into usable ocean waste packaging?
First, OWP is sorted and separated by plastic type and colour by a high-speed high precision optical sorting machine. Next, it is rinsed and cleaned thoroughly for granulation. Each batch is then authenticated by ocean watch and verified. The plastic is then mixed with a 1% antioxidant to counteract any degradation before being deodorised and turned into pellets. Every batch of OWP packaging is then documented to verify the origin and material composition.

What is the timing for KEVIN.MURPHY to switch to OWP packaging?
We will begin phasing in OWP in late 2019 and will continue into 2020 until all KEVIN.MURPHY packaging has been replaced with OWP. We will start first by converting our KEVIN.MURPHY HDPE packaging (our square shaped, rectangle shaped, tubs, 40ml MINI.MURPHY’s, litres, and their corresponding caps). The process of converting our diamond shape packaging bottle will be phase 2, and will begin in 2020.

Features of the new KEVIN.MURPHY eco bottles.

 

Is the OWP packaging still recyclable?
Yes, it is! Our new OWP packaging will be 100% recyclable, allowing it to be repurposed again and again. It can be recycled with virgin plastics entering the same recycle chain.

Will there be any changes in formulation?
No. The packaging has been tested and is compatible with our current formulas.

How do we recycle the empty bottles so they don’t end up in the sea again?
Much like our current KEVIN.MURPHY HDPE packaging, it is accepted at most recycling centres in the world, as it is one of the easiest plastic polymers to recycle.

Will the price of the products now increase?
While it is approximately five times more expensive to produce our bottles in 100% OWP, we believe this is a sound investment for our brand as well as the environment. Like any brand, we do occasionally implement price increases as needed to maintain the integrity and high performance consumers have come to expect. That said, for OWP we have absorbed much of the cost ourselves to make this happen because we feel the issue is so important to the future of the planet.

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