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FLIBS19: Eco-friendly products work to clean the ocean

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By Lucy Chabot Reed

Former yacht captain Lance Sheppard has joined Ecostore to create a superyachts and global marine division of its plant-based and chemical-free cleaning, washing and personal products.

“Because of my history in the marine industry and having run boats, I was able to identify a huge opportunity for the company,” said Sheppard, who has an assortment of products on display at the Oasis Lounge tucked away in the northeast corner of the SuperYacht Village at the boat show this week.

Ecostore most recently launched its foaming hand wash packaged in a new container made from ocean waste plastic. The company has partnered with Pack Tech, a global packaging manufacturer, to create the 20,000 refillable pale blue bottles, helping to clean up over half a ton of ocean waste plastic from the Java Sea in Bali and a river in Jakarta in Indonesia. Designed to be refilled, each bottle features one of three artworks in an ocean theme by New Zealand artist Tomas Cottle. 

“We want to raise awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans, as well as being part of the solution,” Ecostore managing director Pablo Kraus stated in a news release announcing the new packaging. “By making bottles out of recycled ocean waste plastic, Ecostore will help create awareness and inspire environmental and social solutions posed by waste pollution in the oceans.”

Ecostore’s products range from laundry and cleaning products to personal and oral care products, and are available in bulk sizes of 5, 20 and 50 liters that can be stored in the lazarette and used to refit traditional single-use containers in the heads, under the sink and in the laundry.

Chief Stew Mayra Galvan was given some samples to try and returned to Sheppard the next day to say how much she enjoyed them.

“I absolutely loved it, the shampoo and conditioner,” said Galvan, who is working aboard M/Y Vanquish for the show. “I’m going to talk about it like crazy and give it to all my stew friends. We need more eco-friendly products on board.”

Founded in 1993 by a couple in New Zealand, the company offers its products in plastic containers made from sugar cane that contain no petro-chemicals, but remain sturdy enough for storage onboard, Sheppard said. 

Sheppard joined the company this summer and said he is building a community of crew like Galvan who are passionate about yachting’s impact on the environment and who will sample and embrace the products.

Lance Sheppard describes Ecostore’s latest product — packaged in a container made from ocean waste plastic — to Chief Stew Mayra Galvan, who is working on M/Y Vanquish for the show. Photo by Lucy Reed

“Every bit of water on a boat eventually makes its way into the ocean, no matter how much treating it you do,” Sheppard said. “All crew want to cause less harm to the environment and have fewer chemicals onboard. We’re coming to them with a solution with an environmentally responsible product, and it performs.”

Sheppard began working on boats in 1989 as a deckhand in the Med and worked his way up to captain, running the 106-foot S/Y Iemanja in the 1990s. He ran a motor boat during the America’s Cup campaign. He worked with the New Zealand government for a time, including running a governmental beachhead in Fort Lauderdale.

Kiwi company offers award-winning water

Another New Zealand company is giving away samples at the Oasis Lounge, Kopu Water. The sparkling and still water is offered in 12-ounce aluminum bottles. Bottled at the source in the North Island’s Bay of Plenty, the sparkling water was judged in the top three best tasting in the world at the 2018 Berkeley Springs International Water Tastings. 

The company has made several corporate decisions that reduce greenhouse gases, it says, including transporting its product by boat instead of truck and therefore reducing fuel.

The water is available through Yacht Chandlers. 

Lucy Chabot Reed is publisher of The Triton. Comments are welcome below.

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About Lucy Chabot Reed

Lucy Chabot Reed is publisher and founding editor of The Triton.

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