From marine plastic waste to high-end products

Vestre wrote earlier about the project “From Beach to Boardroom”, which has also received support from the Norwegian Retailer’s Environment Fund. We can now follow up the story with some great news. The project has become a fully-fledged company called “Ogoori”. Ogoori will work to clean up a half-century of plastic waste floating in the ocean.

Raw materials made of 100% marine plastic waste

Vestre is cooperating with furniture producer Ope and environmental activist Rune Gaasø to offer the market traceable plastic raw materials that come with a guarantee of origin to prove that they derive from 100% marine plastic waste. A large portion of this plastic is collected by volunteers, including the organization “In The Same Boat”. Tracing the origin of the plastic is guaranteed through blockchain technology provided by Empower. The goal is to recycle no less than 500 to 1,000 tonnes of marine plastic by the end of 2020 alone.

The company name is inspired by the Japanese captain Oguri Jūkichi, who returned to Japan as a hero after having been lost at sea longer than anyone else in history. Just like Oguri, plastic that was ‘lost at sea’ for a very long time will find its way back from nature, never to return again.

Planet before profit

One of Vestre’s cornerstones is a focus on sustainability and a circular economy. The vision and objectives of the newly-established company Ogoori are consistent with Vestre’s ‘Zero Vision’ – which is to make zero products that do not live forever. Marine plastic waste will be retrieved from nature and eternally stored in high-end products that can be utilized in commercial buildings and public spaces. All of Ogoori’s profits will be recycled into more clean-up operations – as long as there is plastic to be found in the ocean. Supporting such a project is an important part of Vestre’s core values.

However, it is both costly and demanding to clean up and recycle marine plastic, since it takes time to collect the plastic and turning it into something useful is a lengthy process. It would be a challenging starting point if profit were the motivation. But it isn’t. Our motivation is to take the lead and show the way, to inspire others to do the same – to help save the world together, at least a little. That has become something of a mantra for Vestre.

“The world is going through a restructuring process, and Vestre hopes that Ogoori can be a showcase for how we can break the correlation between economic growth and the consumption of resources. The development of Ogoori will be important for the whole Vestre Group, and will hopefully inspire others as well,” says Jan Christian Vestre, Vestre’s CEO.

A story included in the price

This kind of plastic carries within it something that neither new plastic nor recycled household or industrial plastic has: it carries a powerful story. The plastic was pulled from nature piece by piece, by both volunteer and professional shore cleaners, through enormous communal efforts, so that it will no longer litter, pollute, be eaten, or break down into microplastics in the future.

“Our customers can help make this story a reality, by utilizing the plastic and benefiting from its inherent value through quality product and service solutions,” says Lars Urheim, the driving force behind Ogoori and Ope’s CEO.

If you want us to keep you updated on the project’s development and have the opportunity to be one of the first to place an order with Ogoori, send an email to [email protected]. Join us in our efforts to clean up and save the world. At least a little bit.