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Managing Editor  | July 2017

Urban Resource Group turns ocean plastic in Lush Cosmetics packaging

Toronto-based Urban Resource Group, Inc., which is an affiliate of Canada Fibers Ltd., recently announced that is has concluded successful trials with Lush Cosmetics to recycle assorted and mixed ocean plastic collected by Lush volunteers into cosmetic containers.



Volunteers collect plastic that Urban Resource Group was able to turn into packaging.
(Urban Resource Group, Inc.)


Urban Resource Group developed a means for turning the ocean plastic into high-quality plastic pellets that were used in a “standard manufacturing setting.”


The announcement stated, “Urban Resource Group embraced the opportunity to create value from this unconventional material. Staff scientists tested the materials through the highly automated, state-of-the-art plastic recycling facility. After a series of trials, Urban Resource Group successfully created plastic pellets to meet Lush’s specifications needed to make their 100% recycled cosmetic containers.”


The trials were proof of concept and Urban Resource Group is hoping to expand this process to new sources of ocean plastic and recycle larger amounts in the coming year.


Gary Calicdan, Lush Ethical Buyer, said, “Urban Resource Group was willing to adjust their system to support this important environmental cause. Their technological abilities allowed them to transform broken down pieces of ocean plastic into high-quality pellets that hit our standards. I’m very happy they accepted the ocean plastic – it’s been great having them as a partner in this initiative.”


Mark Badger, a senior executive with Urban Resource Group and Canada Fibers Ltd., added, “We are keen to be pushing the frontiers of material recovery and recycling with leaders like Lush. Together, we are providing creative solutions to global problems.”


Rachel Morier, Director of Sustainability at Packaging Consortium, an association focused on reducing packaging waste, said, “It is inspiring to see the good that can come from leaders teaming up to address a common challenge. It sets an example for industry where true collaboration can lead to new opportunities for sustainable packaging.”


According to an article by Packaging Materials about the partnership, “Lush Cosmetics has also partnered with Ocean Legacy Foundation, an environmental non-profit organization to collect about 25 tons of plastic from the ocean and shorelines of Vancouver Island in Canada.” 

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