Project Blu is a U.K.-based startup company that is creating sustainable pet products made from recycled materials such as plastic, textiles and leather. Each Project Blu product is made using anywhere between 1 and 300 plastic bottles, and each sale comes with a company pledge to clean yet another pound of plastic from oceans and coastlines through its partnership with the nonprofit Plastic Bank.
“Our oceans bear the brunt of our plastics epidemic, with up to 12.7 million tons of plastic ending up in them every year,” said Geryn Evans, founder of Project Blu. “We are working to collect and manufacture high quality pet products from the mounting number of plastic bottles and discarded fishing nets already in our oceans, rather than make more.”
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The plastic is broken down into flakes and melted into pellets before being converted into polyester yarn, while fibers are extracted from fabrics to be made into cotton yarn. The yarn combination is then used to fashion sturdy pet toys and beds. Leather is a bit trickier; pieces of discarded leather waste destined for landfill are broken down into leather fiber and made into a composite using a hydroentanglement process. This allows the leather scraps to be transformed into one single roll of material that is then handcrafted by Italian artisans into stylish leashes and collars.
The process uses no harmful chemicals, less water than traditional pet product manufacturing and is carbon-neutral. Project Blu also works with a tree-planting organization in Africa to help counteract any carbon emissions from transportation. Most of the plastic used for Planet Blu’s products is collected in the Maharashtra state in India, one of the world’s countries that is most impacted by plastic pollution.
Project Blu recently partnered with Mars Petcare, a globally-recognized pet health and nutrition manufacturer with a $200,000 investment to help jump-start the business. The startup has already delivered more than 80,000 products to international distributors and was voted “Best New Product” at the PATS exhibition, U.K.’s popular pet industry event.
Images via Project Blu