Surfers and Packaging Experts Team Up To Reduce Single-Use Plastic Pollution

Ecovative is always looking for opportunities to partner with like-minded organizations dedicated to protecting and restoring the natural environment. That’s why we’re so glad to be working with A New Earth Project, contributing Mushroom Packaging to their growing catalog of Earth-friendly materials. It’s part of a wider effort to protect the oceans by preventing single use plastics in the first place.

Plastic pollution is a problem for the whole planet, but it really becomes evident in our waterways. Wind and rain inevitably move plastics downhill toward the ocean, after all, so it’s probably no surprise that it would be a deeply felt issue for people who ride the waves every day.

“Surfers, especially pro surfers, spend an enormous amount of time in the oceans and tend to travel to all of these areas of the oceans around the world that many people never even see,” says Wes Carter, founder of A New Earth Project. “They have unique insight into this problem and how it has been progressing in their lifetime, which makes for very compelling storytelling, and ultimately, more awareness of the problem.”

Mushroom Packaging is part of A New Earth Project's growing collection of planet-friendly packaging products.

Carter is also the president of Atlantic Packaging, one of the largest private packaging companies in North America. He also happens to be a lifelong surfer. In a conversation with fellow wave riders on the North Shore of Oahu several years ago, he heard the stories of plastic pollution they had all encountered throughout the world’s beaches. After that, the scope of the problem began to sink in. 

Realizing that being involved in packaging placed him in a unique position to make a dent in plastic pollution, Carter launched A New Earth Project to raise awareness about the scale of plastic pollution in Earth’s waterways

A New Earth Project brings together ocean and water advocacy groups with those involved in the supply chains that produce a significant proportion of plastic pollution, and can therefore reduce it. They work with professional surfers as brand ambassadors, like Kai Lenney, who use their platforms to raise awareness about plastic pollution.

They also provide a range of sustainable packaging solutions — like the ones we make here at Mushroom Packaging — not just for surfboards but for all kinds of shipping needs, for companies or individuals seeking to reduce their plastic footprint. 

Surfers have a unique perspective on the problem of plastic pollution in the oceans, and a unique platform for raising awareness and sparking change.

There are three main criteria for supplying New Earth approved packaging. They must be curbside-recyclable or compostable; made with renewable resources; and must not be harmful to wildlife or ecosystems. That makes Mushroom Packaging’s USDA Certified 100% Bio-based parts a natural fit alongside many other innovative solutions to this urgent problem. 

Every year, over 82 million tons of plastic are used for packaging alone, most of which ends up in the landfill. Roughly 14 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean every year, with plastic representing 80% of all waste found throughout the oceans. Recovering that plastic is a monumental challenge, with the best solution being to stop producing the pollution altogether.

Mushroom Packaging and A New Earth Project are a natural fit. Our packaging is ocean and soil safe, decomposing into compost after 40 days.

“Our initial push is to turn off the tap, specifically in direct-to-consumer packaging,” says Carter. “In the long term, we hope to transition all of the supply chain, business-to-business and business-to-consumer to fully circular systems of recycling, re-use or compostability.”

Mushroom Packaging is proud to partner with A New Earth Project, not just to raise awareness about the problem of packaging-based pollution in our oceans, but also to offer a solution. That’s the most exciting part: the solutions do exist, and we must all ensure that they are used and encouraged.

“Our mantra is, ‘we do this together, we do this now,’” says Carter. “Because we don’t have the luxury of waiting.”

Visit A New Earth Project’s website to learn more about their initiative to end plastic pollution, and visit Mushroom Packaging to learn how mycelium can help do just that.

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