1. Reminds us that plastic misuse is the issue, not the material itself.
  2. Turns problem (ocean waste) into valuable solution (crafts).
  3. Cleanup of beaches as they continue their activities.

SOC 2★: Wants us to think about how we use and treat plastics
ENV 1★: Removal of ocean plastic through cleanup activities
Circularity: Repurpose
(About Sustainability Impact score)

Saving marine life with snazzy buøy trays made with ocean plastic waste

If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind items to add to your home decor or general goods collection, “buøy” might be a perfect choice for you. Colorful and appealing trays and coasters made in Japan are available to purchase online by subscription since last month. The items are attractive enough to purchase for its high design, let alone their eco-friendliness. buøy is a new environmental product that will change your mind on purchasing plastic products in two ways: first, because it’s plastic but green, and second it will contribute to saving marine wildlife.

So, what is a ‘plastic but green’ product? The answer is simple: buøy is made from ocean plastic waste. buøy products are manufactured by Techno-Lab, an enterprise based in Yokohama that manufactures and designs plastic products.

The company executed an in-house project called ‘Plas+tech project’ two years ago to learn about waste management and to create products that will affect the society to change its waste disposal system. Techno-Lab also works to fulfill its responsibility as a producer of plastic through product development and by facing the waste issues. From this circumstance, buøy was designed to become something that will appeal to the public about the reality of ocean plastic waste. And to do so, Techno-Lab developed a new technology to mold ocean plastics, often deteriorated and unidentifiable, and manufacture upcycled products from these waste.

Although there are beach cleanup programs organized by various environmental groups almost every week somewhere in Kanto region, of course not all plastic waste can be collected. In parts of Japan where comparatively a large amount of plastic waste gets ashore, lack of manpower and maintaining cleanup activities becomes a serious problem if there are not enough people and fund to support them. Techno-Lab hopes to help solve these issues by upcycling the waste collected. Sales of the upcycled products will bring profit to the organizations for maintaining their activities.

The other excellence buøy products bring is the reduction of ocean plastic waste that will save marine wildlife. According to the World Economic Forum, there will be more plastics than fish (by weight) in the ocean by 2050. Every year, more than 8 million tons of plastic waste are washed into the world’s oceans. And because plastics are durable, the waste float in the ocean for years and years.

Many marine animals die or get severe injuries from ingesting these plastic wastes or getting entangled in marine debris. What’s more, microplastics in the ocean are consumed by marine organisms and pose threat to marine species, which will eventually affect the whole ecosystem. Throwing away one empty plastic bottle may not seem like a big deal for someone, but this disregard will eventually pile up and make a huge island like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the North Pacific Ocean and perhaps one day destroy the ecosystem. Marine pollution is an urgent issue that the whole world needs to face today.

buøy products don’t clearly warn us of the critical situation at a glance, but their marble pattern will remind us that they were once miscellaneous plastic waste abandoned by humans. We can take a small step forward to solving one of the urgent environmental issues by choosing these upcycled products and always keep in mind about the consequences of our lifestyle.

Originally published on Zenbird.Media.



(updated 23 Feb 2023)

Brand name buøy
Genre Ocean plastic, Upcycling
Website Homepage (JA)

buøy is available for purchase online, but it is also carried by a number of stores. It is also available in two overseas stores!

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