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A Cincinnati-based company wants you to ‘break up’ with plastics this Valentine’s Day

Posted at 5:00 AM, Feb 13, 2020

CINCINNATI — These sisters want you to "break up" with plastics this Valentine’s Day.

Plaine Products, a Cincinnati company that ships out eco-friendly shampoo and conditioner bottles, soaps and lotions, aims to eliminate single-use plastics in the bathroom in order to keep them out of the ocean.

“Our goal as a company is to eliminate single-use plastics in the bathroom, which have become a worldwide epidemic,” said director of communications Jennifer Buchholz.

In two years, the organization has kept 100,000 plastic bottles out of landfills, and aims to increase that number to 250,000 by the end of 2020.

“They’re everywhere," Buchholz said. "In our shopping bags, in our cleaning products, in our laundry detergent. Plastics are everywhere, and it can get so overwhelming that you do nothing.”

That’s why the company will ship out shampoo, conditioner and body wash in reusable aluminum containers. It then asks customers to send the clean, empty bottle back to get a new one in return.

“Aluminum can be used over and over again and when it finally hits the recycling bin, it can be recycled without the product degrading it off,” Buchholz said. “It can be used indefinitely.”

CEO and co-founder Lindsey McCoy spent 10 days aboard a plastic research sailing vessel to try to find a way to fight the millions of metric tons of plastics that make their way into the oceans each year.

Trash along the ocean, taken during CEO Lindsey McCoy's research trip
Trash along the ocean, taken during CEO Lindsey McCoy's research trip

“The expedition I went on was for all women … we are sailing around the world, taking science samples around the world, trying to figure out what plastics are out there, where is it, how fast is it breaking down, how fast is it filling our ocean, so that we can try and figure out what we need to do about it,” McCoy said.

According to Johnson & Johnson, 552 million plastic bottles could end up in landfills across the U.S. each year, and according to DoSomething,org,50 percent of people in the nation don’t recycle personal care items. Plaine Products, which was launched in 2017, wants to change that statistic.

“I just have this guilt… and once I saw it I couldn’t unsee it,” McCoy said. “I just knew that every time I was throwing away a plastic bottle, that’s going to be there forever. My grandkids are still going to have to deal with these plastic bottles I used for five minutes and then threw it away."