Member Spotlight: Meliora, Oceana, Open Water, & Plastic Free July

Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC) Members come from a wide range of sectors and are aligned in their mission to build a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on communities and ecosystems around the world. The Coalition Spotlight is our monthly blog to uplift and showcase their work, giving our readers an inside look at some of these influential change-makers. This month’s edition features toxic-free cleaning products, an organization focused on protecting the oceans, a woman-owned aluminum water company, and the group behind a global movement to make July (and beyond) plastic free.

Meliora Cleaning Products

Ever wonder what chemicals are in your cleaning products and if they are safe to use in your home? Although many compounds in cleaning agents can pose serious environmental and human health concerns, there are still no federal laws in the United States requiring manufacturers to disclose ingredients in home cleaning products. Additionally, most of these products come in plastic packaging that pollutes during every stage of its existence, from extraction, to production, transportation, use, and disposal. And plastics are wasteful; consider, for example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 641 million laundry jugs are used each year in the United States, most of which are never recycled.

PPC Business Member Meliora Cleaning Products manufactures home cleaning and laundry products that are safe for you and your family, planet-friendly, and effective! They are a woman-owned B Corp, and member of 1% for the Planet that has been certified by Leaping Bunny and MADE SAFE for their toxic- and cruelty-free products and business operations. All of Meliora’s products are free of single-use plastics, and their refill and reuse packaging is predominantly plastic free. By making concentrated washing powders, solid soap bars, and soap refill tablets, Meliora eliminates the need for added preservatives and unnecessary single-use plastic packaging.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the founding of Meliora Cleaning Products, and we applaud their success in changing the status quo of the cleaning products industry, prioritizing human and environmental health above all else. Most recently, their laundry powder was featured on Good Morning America in a segment on how reducing waste can help save you money. They have also been working hard to expand their grocery partnerships across the country, making it easier for people to ditch plastic water bottles. Lastly, Meliora co-founder Kate Jakubas recently attended the United Nation’s Second Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution

(INC-2) in Paris, France, and was a signatory in Plastic Pollution Coalition’s Business Member Statement, which was delivered to the U.S. delegation and submitted to the UN. Meliora is a true mission-based business, in practice and action.

Oceana

In honor of World Oceans Day on June 8, we want to celebrate the largest international advocacy group solely dedicated to ocean conservation, Oceana. A close ally and Organization Member of Plastic Pollution Coalition, Oceana is dedicated to protecting and restoring the abundance and biodiversity of the world’s oceans. They do this through a series of interconnected campaigns that are grounded in science, focused on measurable outcomes, and supported by their team of multi-disciplinary experts in the field who work to usher in policies that best protect and support oceans and the ecosystems they sustain. 

Since 2001, Oceana has protected nearly 4 million square miles of ocean and influenced over 225 pieces of legislation for the seas, which cover over two thirds of the entire planet. Their campaigns address threats to the oceans holistically, by addressing the root causes of harm to coastal communities, marine ecosystems, fish populations, biodiversity, and more. One of the most widely recognized and immediate threats to ocean health is plastic pollution, which Oceana has put at the top of their list of priorities. They recently released a report revealing that Coca-Cola has backtracked on their public commitment to increase the reusability of their product portfolio, and actually added billions of single-use plastic bottles to their production output. They have also called on Amazon shareholders to vote on a resolution that would hold the e-commerce giant accountable for their astronomical amounts of plastic packaging waste they create every year, most of which isn’t recycled and ends up in landfills or the environment. Although Amazon’s shareholder vote calling on the company to address its plastic pollution fell just short of a majority at the end of May, Oceana continues to put public pressure on big corporate polluters to disclose and reduce their global plastic packaging footprints. 

Find more of their recent victories and ways to take action on their website. 

Open Water 

The bottled water industry is one of the fastest-growing industries on Earth, growing 73% from 2010–2020. More than 1 million bottles of water are sold every minute across the world, piling up in our environment and breaking up into harmful micro- and nano-plastic particles, degrading ecosystems across the entire planet. Although it’s imperative we move away from single-use consumption towards systems of reuse and circularity, we must find non-plastic alternatives to address the immediate concerns of single-use plastic pollution. 

Open Water is the world’s first Climate Neutral certified canned water company with the sole mission to rid the world of plastic water bottles. Their infinitely recyclable, BPA-free, post-consumer aluminum cans are challenging the status quo of plastic bottles, embodied by their slogan, “Bye, Bye Plastic.” Not only does Open Water encourage reuse of their products, but they produce net-zero carbon emissions across the entirety of their business operations. Open Water is minority-, woman-, and LGBTQIA2S+-owned, and gives 1% of their annual sales to nonprofits as a member of 1% for the Planet. Open Water’s “Still Can” has received the Blue Standard Product and Packaging Seal, a rigorous sustainability standard that verifies plastic-free products, packaging, and business operations. 

As the sustainable packaging industry grows, it will be important to break through to industries that are influential in changing societal habits. On March 12, 2023, Open Water partnered with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to eliminate plastic water bottles at the Oscars. In alignment with Plastic Pollution Coalition’s Flip The Script on Plastics initiative, their partnership has helped catalyze a shift in the entertainment industry away from plastic and its toxic impacts. To join the movement, you can become an activist for Open Water and visit PPC’s Flip the Script on Plastics page to browse our plastic-free entertainment resources, sign our pledge, and more.

Plastic Free July

Plastic Free July (PFJ) is a global movement that empowers people to make changes and refuse single-use plastics in their daily lives and communities. Every year, over 100 million people around the world participate by taking the challenge, which can be uniquely designed according to individual or group preferences, including intensity, duration, region, and more. PFJ provides a host of resources to get you started, wherever you might be in your zero-waste journey. Their open-sourced platform contains learning opportunities, posters, videos, books, expert tips, and even ways to share short stories about your experiences and be inspired by others. 

This year’s theme is “Small Steps, Big Difference”—a reminder that the culmination of global, community-wide action drives cultural and systemic changes needed to tackle the scale and urgency of the plastic pollution crisis. In 2022 alone, 140 million participants collectively eliminated 2.6 million metric tons of waste from their lives, including at least 300 million kilograms of plastic. By the end of the year, 88% of PFJ participants had made at least one lasting behavior change, with the cost savings from their actions avoiding plastics totaled $2.8 billion.

The PFJ movement has initiated global progress towards behavior change and resulting policy action on the international scale. Their research, for example, found that 87% of people support policies and action to reduce plastic waste. The movement has also been used to center the voices of underrepresented communities around the world in the UN Global Plastics Treaty negotiations. As a result of their recent accomplishments, Plastic Free July was selected as one of two finalists for the United Nations “Mobilize” award, from over 3,000 applications from 150 countries, as initiatives that mobilize, inspire, and connect people to drive action towards a more sustainable future.

Find out more about the PFJ movement, and all the ways you might participate here.

Does your business or organization align with our mission to build a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impacts? Apply to join our global movement.

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