How HUM Is Preventing Plastic from Entering Our Oceans, One Bottle At A Time

by Sara Angle · April 18, 2022
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When you open up your yogurt cup, unload a Sephora haul, or grab a water bottle on your way to a workout, chances are, you don’t think much about where the plastic packaging came from. In fact, you probably also don’t think much about the afterlife of your trash and recycling either.

But plastics can have a life long before and after they reach you. There are two main types of plastic:

  1. Virgin plastic

This plastic was made directly from crude oil or natural gas. It’s brand new and is the most harmful to the environment. 

  1. Recycled plastic

This is also called post-consumer recycled plastic and was previously another product before being made into the product in your hands. Recycled plastic is not only better for the environment, but can be part of the larger solution to eliminate single-use plastics.

At face value, you may not be able to tell difference, so it’s important to educate yourself on brands that work to use recycled plastics.

HUM uses Prevented Ocean Plastic™, a form of recycled plastic that does double-duty by also protecting the oceans from pollution.

In some countries and regions, the infrastructure to support recycling programs does not exist.   Without well-run municipal solid waste programs, trash can end up in our waterways, harming the environment. Plastic, in particular, can be extremely detrimental to our oceans. This plastic is referred to as ocean-bound plastic and is defined by the International Solid Waste Foundation as:

  • Plastic found within 30 miles of an ocean coastline or major waterway that feeds into the ocean.
  • The country or region lacks waste management infrastructure and collection incentives.
  • The infrastructure is being overwhelmed by population growth or tourism.
  • There is a significant risk to wildlife if plastic contaminates their ecosystem.

That’s where Prevented Ocean Plastic™ comes in. Prevented Ocean Plastic™ has been collected from coastlines before it reaches the ocean and is recycled into new products, like HUM bottles.

HUM Nutrition’s Commitment to Protecting Our Oceans

HUM first transitioned to using Prevented Ocean Plastic in 2021. We have since prevented over 12 million half-liter water bottles from entering our ocean. By the end of 2022, all of our bottles will be made from 100 percent Prevented Ocean Plastic. (Learn more about our sustainability efforts here.) 

Our goal is to prevent the equivalent of over 50 million half-liter bottles from entering the ocean and eliminate all single-use plastic from our production by 2025.

Fostering Entrepreneurship and Community Through Prevented Ocean Plastic

So just how does plastic that could be headed for our waterways end up in your mailbox and hands as a HUM bottle? It has a long and beautiful journey to get to you.

  1. Prevented Ocean Plastic™ partners with people in areas with at-risk coastlines.

People in those communities have the opportunity to earn their living by cleaning their coastlines.

  1. Microentrepreneurs collect bottles, diverting them from waterways.

Individuals often work as a community to source bottles, then bring them to a recycling center.

  1. Plastic is sorted.

Once at the collection center, the microentrepreneurs sort, weigh, and transport the plastic in small teams to an aggregation center.

  1. Plastic is processed.

Plastic is cleaned and processed, following European and North American quality standards, including lab testing.

  1. Prevented Ocean Plastic is ready for a new life.

Plastic raw material is sent to Alpha Packaging, which uses the upcycled raw material and turns it into a HUM bottle that can be fully recycled, further extending the life of the plastic. There, it is further processed and molded into the small bottle with big impact that you get in your monthly HUM subscription or pick up at your favorite retailers, like Sephora.

14 million tons of plastic enter our oceans every year. Not only does Prevented Ocean Plastic™ seek to reduce this amount, but the process of creating Prevented Ocean Plastic gives microentrepreneurs consistent and reliable payment for what they collect.

What Prevented Ocean Plastic Means for You

What does all this mean for you? While it may not seem like a big deal simply when you look at a HUM bottle on your bedside table or in your medicine cabinet, your choice matters.

Your decision diverts the equivalent of two half-liter water bottles from the ocean with each HUM bottle. 

Your decision helps to keep microentrepreneurs, their families, and their communities thriving.

Your decision is wellness for you and the planet.

We hope you’ll continue to join us in making everyday efforts to better our world.


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