Innovative use of marine packaging waste by Sydney designers

While it’s almost impossible to predict, it’s believed there are 5.25 TRILLION pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Of that, 269,000 tons’ float on the surface, while some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea. (1) Eeek!

This pollution has devastating effects for marine animals as they ingest it, get caught in it or suffocate from it.

However, it’s heartening to see that Sydney-based Industrial designer Andrew Simpson of Vert Design has teamed up with several other visionary designers to create beautiful products made from salvaged marine waste. Together with Emma Swann, a jewellery designer and founder of Recreational Studio, Ocean Collection was created.

Vert Cuff Ocean Collection

The collection is a series of magically coloured cuffs, a fusion of brass and collected plastic involving a process of low pressure injection moulding. To match the innovative and environmental pitch of this project they created paper-pulp moulded packaging to house the cuffs. Each pack is processed and pressed by hand then sewn shut with a recycled card backing. No detail has been left unconsidered. The organic cotton thread is colour-matched with the cuff inside. And even the ink used is vegetable based.

Vert Design Cuff Packaging
Vert Design Pulp Packaging

Another inspiring project saw Andrew team up with Sarah K to develop ‘marine debris bakelite’. The Supercyclers have developed this new material from 100% recycled plastic collected from Australian beaches. The waste is sorted by colour then processed using small scale industrial and hand manufacturing. The product is characterised by a marbled quality that references early bakelite in look, weight and density. The results are stunning.

Vert design packaging marine waste bento box

Thankfully it’s not just small independents that are trying to clean up our oceans. There are a number of corporations taking on this challenge too,  such as German sportswear brand Adidas. They’re teaming up with Parley to develop materials made from marine plastic waste that can be used in its products.

So, through creativity and collaboration we can bring an end to marine plastic pollution.

If you’d like to discuss ways to reduce or improve your packaging, give us a call on 02 9519 9991 or email us at

Ocean plastic facts that will shock you:

Worldwide, 13,000-15,000 pieces of plastic are dumped into the ocean every day.

There are believed to be 46,000 pieces of plastic in every square mile of ocean.

The number 1 man made thing that sailors see in our ocean are plastic bags.

100,000 marine creatures a year die from plastic entanglement and these are the ones found.

Each year approximately 1 million sea birds also die from eating plastic.