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July 8, 2020

Words are incredibly powerful tools for motivating people. For example, how would you react if someone told you to hold out your hands to receive a nice collection of fresh garbage? Most people wouldn’t do it. So what if someone offered you a pair of sunglasses made from garbage? Would you wear them?

The word ‘garbage’ conjures up all sorts of things most of us would rather not think about. And yet, some very creative people have found virtual gold in garbage. Companies that make sunglasses out of plastic garbage are a good example. Some are open about it because they know the strategy sells to people with a mind toward environmental protection. Others target a different kind of crowd and, as such, keep the fact that they are using garbage a secret.

At the end of the day though, it doesn’t really matter. What must be understood is that the vast majority of sunglasses manufactured around the world are made with plastic. That’s the nature of the beast, explains Olympic Eyewear, a wholesale distributor of sunglasses. So the only real question for consumers is whether a particular brand represents quality. As long as the quality of the materials is top-notch, it doesn’t really matter if the plastic is recycled trash.

Turning Fishing Nets into Sunglasses

Humanity produces an awful lot of plastic. Everything from plastic water bottles to children’s toys can, in theory, be recycled to create new products. It turns out that one of the biggest sources of plastic trash in the oceans is not plastic bottles or straws at all. It is the plastic fishing net.

According to the Hatch website, most of the trash that makes up the infamous Pacific Garbage Patch is comprised of abandoned fishing nets. Also known as ghost nets, some were purposely discarded by fishing crews due to damage. Others were lost as a result of bad weather or accidents. In any case, these ghost nets get intertwined and then collect more garbage as they float around the oceans.

It turns out that fishing nets are perfect for making environmentally friendly sunglasses. The hardest part of using them is retrieving them from the water. But once retrieved, fishing nets can be easily cut apart into manageable sections before being cleaned, processed, and then melted down to create plastic pellets.

Those pellets are then fed into an injection mold machine to create frames for sunglasses. The entire process is fairly simple in principle. It is also cost-effective too. By using fishing nets as a material for making sunglasses, manufacturers are reducing the need for new plastics and getting a bunch of trash out of the ocean at the same time.

One Man’s Garbage Is Another Man’s Gold

Manufacturing sunglasses from plastic garbage offers numerous lessons. First off, it proves that one man’s garbage is another man’s gold. That leads us to the second lesson: we throw out an awful lot of things unnecessarily. Without even thinking about recycling and re-purposing, we just throw things in the trash and forget about them. This is true at both a personal and commercial level.

The third lesson is how easily we are motivated by words. The plastic garbage floating around in the oceans is, indeed, garbage. But that doesn’t make it bad. Perhaps if we were less sensitive about words we might be able to find even more uses for the things that we throw out. If you can make sunglasses out of plastic garbage, there have to be virtually unlimited uses for just about everything we throw away.

Justin Hunter

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