Urban Resource Group Inc., an affiliate of Canada Fibers Ltd., today announced successful collaborative trials with Lush Cosmetics involving recycling of ocean plastic into cosmetic containers – turning harmful litter into eco-conscious packaging. In late 2016, Lush delivered plastic collected from a six-month long, volunteer-led ocean cleanup project to Urban Resource Group’s plastic recycling facility in Toronto, Canada. Urban Resource Group took on the challenge of converting the tattered, assorted mix of plastic into a high-quality plastic pellet to use in a standard manufacturing setting.
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. Given the scale of the environmental problem and their ability to help, Urban Resource Group looks forward to testing new sources of ocean plastic and processing higher quantities in the coming year.
Gary Calicdan, Lush Ethical Buyer, reflected on the pilot saying, “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 that, “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, shared her thoughts on the initiative, “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.”
Urban Resource Group has been providing full-service recycling solutions for Lush for all material generated at manufacturing, warehousing and logistical operations for the east coast of North America. Urban Resource Group works closely with Lush to ensure accurate and transparent reporting, advanced waste diversion and improved packaging sustainability.
About Urban Resource Group Inc.
In July 2015, Urban Resource Group was established as an affiliate of Canada Fibers to produce high-quality sustainable products from materials recovered. Urban Resource Group closes the loop for recovered materials, through manufacturing of both industrial and consumer products. These products include pure, consistent and highly compounded plastic materials, as well as architecturally appealing garden mulch and sustainable wood fuel pellets.
About Canada Fibers Ltd.
Canada Fibers was established 27 years ago as a Toronto-based paper recovery and marketing operation. Since then, its operational scope has broadened to include recovery, separation and marketing of a wide variety of recovered materials, including paper, plastic, metal and glass. Today, Canada Fibers’ supply-side customers include municipalities in the Province of Ontario, as well as institutional, commercial and industrial organizations. The company is now engaged in the production of consumer and industrial products from the waste it recovers through its affiliate, Urban Resource Group.
About Lush Cosmetics
Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics are purveyors of good, clean fun. They offer luxurious and ethical skincare, haircare and bath indulgences, as well as unique gifts filled with fragrant and effective products. 2015 marked Lush’s 20th anniversary of creating innovative cosmetics using fresh fruits and vegetables, the finest essential oils and ingredients that are ethically and sustainably sourced. Never tested on animals, every single Lush product is vegetarian, and about 85% are vegan, 40% preservative-free and 35% unpackaged. Lush supports Fair Trade, Community Trade and charitable initiatives and follows the simple policy: have the least possible impact on the environment while still producing beautiful and effective products. Lush has 250 locations across North America.