FLIBS19: Eco-friendly products work to clean the ocean

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Former yacht captain Lance Sheppard has joined Ecostore to create a superyachts and global marine division of its plant-based and chemical-free cleaning, washing and personal products.

“Because of my history in the marine industry and having run boats, I was able to identify a huge opportunity for the company,” said Sheppard, who has an assortment of products on display at the Oasis Lounge tucked away in the northeast corner of the SuperYacht Village at the boat show this week.

Ecostore most recently launched its foaming hand wash packaged in a new container made from ocean waste plastic. The company has partnered with Pack Tech, a global packaging manufacturer, to create the 20,000 refillable pale blue bottles, helping to clean up over half a ton of ocean waste plastic from the Java Sea in Bali and a river in Jakarta in Indonesia. Designed to be refilled, each bottle features one of three artworks in an ocean theme by New Zealand artist Tomas Cottle. 

“We want to raise awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans, as well as being part of the solution,” Ecostore managing director Pablo Kraus stated in a news release announcing the new packaging. “By making bottles out of recycled ocean waste plastic, Ecostore will help create awareness and inspire environmental and social solutions posed by waste pollution in the oceans.”

Ecostore’s products range from laundry and cleaning products to personal and oral care products, and are available in bulk sizes of 5, 20 and 50 liters that can be stored in the lazarette and used to refit traditional single-use containers in the heads, under the sink and in the laundry.

Chief Stew Mayra Galvan was given some samples to try and returned to Sheppard the next day to say how much she enjoyed them.

“I absolutely loved it, the shampoo and conditioner,” said Galvan, who is working aboard M/Y Vanquish for the show. “I’m going to talk about it like crazy and give it to all my stew friends. We need more eco-friendly products on board.”

Founded in 1993 by a couple in New Zealand, the company offers its products in plastic containers made from sugar cane that contain no petro-chemicals, but remain sturdy enough for storage onboard, Sheppard said. 

Sheppard joined the company this summer and said he is building a community of crew like Galvan who are passionate about yachting’s impact on the environment and who will sample and embrace the products.