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In the February edition of our Set In Stone Newsletter, we’ll explore why COVID-19 is sending resin prices sky-high, and dive into the phenomenon of “wish-cycling,” as we explore the ins and outs of the recycling industry in honor of the upcoming Global Recycling Day.  
OKEANOS ® NEWSLETTER – FEBRUARY 2021
Did you know that oil is the main ingredient in petrochemically derived plastics that make up the items we use every day? So, what happens when the cost of oil rises? Yes, you guessed it! The cost of everything from toys to tires to toothbrushes rises too.  Well, maybe not everything is going up.

At $60 a barrel, oil prices are at their highest in more than a year – with the jump attributed to an uptick in demand from the pumps to the airlines as vaccine confidence rises around the world. While the idea of everyone getting back to business is good news for society, plastic manufacturers and brands who buy their packaging will have to account for rising resin prices in 2021.

The founding principle of Okeanos’ Made From Stone technology is source reduction, meaning we can reduce the amount of plastic going into a given product at the source, by replacing it with naturally abundant calcium carbonate. Each product created with Made From Stone technology will contain up to 80% less resin than its predecessor, and because of that, will benefit from stable and reliable pricing that is not subject to the extreme volatility in the oil market.

Make the switch to Made From Stone today and  keep your costs down by contacting trade@MadeFromStone.com 

“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” is a mantra that was drilled into our vocabulary as children. This catchy slogan is often visually represented by the three circular arrows that have become synonymous with recycling and “going green.” It’s no surprise then, that the plastic industry adopted and then adapted the “chasing arrows” logo, to align themselves with the positive narrative of recyclability.

The triangle of three arrows found on the bottom of your water bottle, coffee cup, or takeout container may look like the recycling logo, but it’s actually a Resin Identification Code (RIC), implemented by the Plastics industry in 1988 to tell recyclers what type of plastic resin the product is made from. The goal of this numbers process was to ease sorting at recycling plants, and not to tell the customer that the product itself is recyclable. Plastic must be recycled with other “like” materials in order to enable them to be re-used.

In fact, in the United States, only those plastics marked 1 (PET/PETE) and 2 (HDPE) are recycled in meaningful amounts. Attempting to recycle plastics marked with any of the other numbers: #3 (PVC), #4 (LDPE), #5 (PP), #6 (PS), and #7 (other) is what’s referred to as “wish-cycling,” when the consumer thinks they are doing the right thing by putting the item in recycling, when in reality, they’re only slowing down and clogging the sorting process. Recycling programs vary by community, so consumers must check with their local municipalities to see if they accept products with the numbers 3-6. Bioplastics, which are made of plants, are biodegradable, making them not able to be recycled. These and other non-recyclable materials carry the RIC #7.

These resin identification codes are responsible for consumers, significantly overestimating the quantity of plastic products that can be recycled. The American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM), an international standards organization explains, “Resin Identification Codes are not recycle codes…the use of a Resin Identification Code on a manufactured plastic article does not imply that the article is recycled or that there are systems in place to effectively process the article for reclamation or re-use. The term “recyclable” or other environmental claims shall not be placed in proximity to the Code.”

“Wish-cycling” and these RIC’s will not save our oceans. The only way we can take a stand against plastic pollution is by developing and using products with less plastic in them. Made From Stone technology replaces the majority of plastic in single-use items with stone, reducing the amount of plastic at the source.

Comprised of two engineers and one attorney, our all-female Environmental Compliance Team is providing Okeanos with incredibly valuable data for use in research and product labeling. A trio with a passion for the environment, their commitment to science-based facts to inform Okeanos decision making and allow us reach new heights. Our Environmental Compliance Team is responsible for conducting our internal Life Cycle Analysis and working with customers and third-party auditors. We hope that transparency regarding the environmental impacts of our products will force a conversation about the real impacts of the other “plastic alternatives” as well. We can’t wait to share what we have in store.

For a free analysis of what your product footprint reduction would look like using Made from Stone, please contact us  HERE.  

We’re thrilled to announce the opening of Okeanos Colombia SAS, our new sister company in Bogota! Our talented Colombian team includes experts in Technical Support, Business Development and Environmental Compliance. Reinforcing our commitment to local jobs and the sourcing of local stone, we are now able to produce compounds in Bogota, and are harvesting stone from the Calcium Carbonate-rich area of Medellin in Central Colombia. Additionally, we will be working with five new manufacturing partners for both film and thermoforming which will be capable of making everything from cups to sanitary product wrappers.

Stay tuned for an exciting announcement about one of the biggest names in Colombia joining us on our journey to reduce plastic, CO2, and expensive imports of raw materials!

To connect directly with our Colombian team, email  or call +57 4 5906236

This month’s Rockstar is Trudi-Ann Webster, Business Development Manager, who oversees product for Okeanos. Read on to learn about how a fateful visit to the coast at the age of eight put Trudi on a path toward environmentally conscious living, and how a job dealing blackjack on a cruise ship opened her eyes to the plight of the oceans.

Q: Tell us about your childhood. Did you spend a lot of time by the ocean?   

A: I grew up in Calgary, Alberta, which is a landlocked province. I did not actually get to see the ocean until I was 8 years old. We visited the Pacific Ocean, off Vancouver Island in Victoria. It was the first time I had seen waves. It ignited my love for the ocean, for sailing and for wandering along the beach. When I was 10, my family drove across Canada and I had the opportunity to see the Atlantic Ocean, and experience how different that was from the Pacific. Up here in Canada, it’s colder, darker, and there are a lot of sharks. More seafood too. It was the first time I was exposed to how overfishing can affect the oceans. Halifax harbor was once very polluted. They have done a lot to clean it up in the past few years. They literally have a vacuum underneath the harbor to collect pollution.

My love affair with the ocean started the minute I saw it and has continued throughout my life. I served as a fishing guide off Alaska, and someone I was guiding, asked if I’d ever been to the Virgin Islands. I hadn’t but was intrigued. I got a job on a cruise ship as a blackjack dealer which allowed me to travel all over the world. I finally made it to Bermuda, fell in love with the islands, and wound up staying for most of my 20’s. It was there that I got to see firsthand what happens when coral reefs die, and it spurred me to remember that we are just walking on the earth – it’ll be here long after we’re gone. So, we must protect it.

Q: You live in Canada – has there been a push for the adoption of more sustainable brands in recent years?

A: Canadians are very environmentally conscious. We are so grateful that we have an abundance of freshwater at our disposal, so we’re naturally very protective of our lakes and rivers. In the last three years, we’ve seen Canada and Canadians make a concentrated push for single-use items with less plastic. Consumers are shopping sustainably, looking for organics, and sustainable packaging. We have a robust recycling system for bottles, cans, and wrappers. It’s a closed loop recycling system that is mandatory in every town and every city.

Q: Has working with Made From Stone made you think twice about sustainability in your daily life? What are your go-to sustainability swaps? 

A: Yes, I have. Since I started at Okeanos, I’ve become much more aware of PFAS, and the toxins that end up in our food. It was something I had not really given any thought to before. I assumed that things marked “food safe,” were just that. Safe. It turns out that’s not always the case.

Q: You have a little menagerie there that we hear on our Zoom meetings. Tell us about your animals.

A: I have five cats living with me, and one cockatoo. They’re all strays, and somehow, they all live harmoniously. Smokey, Yoshi, Frisky, Mysti, and Gigi. Mysti and Gigi lived under my porch for the summer, and when fall came, they were still here, so they stayed. Tweety, the cockatiel I inherited from a friend of mine.

Q: How did you get started working in product sales? What led you to Okeanos?

A: I’ve spent my 20+ year career in food and products helping brands. A friend of mine mentioned Okeanos, and thought it was unique. I checked out the website, and thought wow! Okeanos’ mission really resonated with my values. It’s everything I wanted in a company; eco conscious, sustainable, young, progressive, and not stuck in its ways. I asked my friend to connect me to see how I could help, and the rest is history.

Q: What makes Okeanos stand out from the competition?

A: The most compelling part to me is that Okeanos is taking a multi-faceted approach to this problem. We’re not just speaking with our product, but also through our philanthropic efforts.  This allows us to make a real, immediate and tangible impact and tackle the problem from all sides.

Q: When you’re not working, where can we find you?

A: In the Summer, on my paddle board, on a lake here in Alberta. In Winter, you find me snowshoeing.

Q: What new hobby or skill did you pick up during quarantine?

A: I took knitting back up, and I learned Qigong, which is a form of ancient meditation. I also learned how to cook Vietnamese food, and how to make gluten free croissants. More recently, this winter I have taken up doing word searches. I challenge myself to find words that are not on the list … as well as the ones they list.


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