Plastic Oceans UK

Challenging the way we see plastic

Our mission at Plastic Oceans UK is to stop plastic reaching the ocean within a generation.

Plastic can be an incredibly valuable material ― in the right context ― it can protect people and help save lives. But of course, plastic should never end up in our oceans. Currently, 8 million tonnes of plastic reach our oceans every single year. This is hugely damaging to the marine environment and is impacting human health as well.

Plastic Oceans UK has led the way on raising awareness about the impacts of ocean plastic pollution for over a decade. We produced the award-winning documentary 'A Plastic Ocean', which was praised by Sir David Attenborough as "one of the most important films of our time" and ignited mass public awareness around the issue.

Now, we are not only creating awareness of the impact of plastics in our oceans, we are developing tools to help people and businesses take action to stop plastic entering the environment in the first place. Our focus has evolved to focus on the development of globally credible behaviour change programmes where participants are challenged to rethink the way plastic is valued, used and discarded.

By developing globally credible behaviour change programmes, we aim to empower young leaders― and everyone across society ―to become more "Plastic Intelligent" in all aspects of life, influencing their communities and governments to affect positive change.

You can watch 'A Plastic Ocean' on Netflix and view our resources on our Education site.

Follow us on social media @PlasticOceansUK on Instagram and Facebook and @PlasticOceans on Twitter.

If you'd like to get involved, please email our team at or visit us at


Plastic: Green and Clean, it Isn't

We continue to buy packaged products in plastic best pleased with ourselves because the brand promotes the fact they used recycled waste plastic. And the whole revolting cycle goes round one more revolution.

Very little virgin plastic is ever recycled. Over 90% of all plastic ever created over the decades,1 has had an end life either in landfill, major river tributaries or our oceans.

The plastic in all forms is not a renewable resource, not sustainable and not recyclable as we are led to believe.1 The United Kingdom (and many countries) cannot recycle all waste plastic.

We have to act now to try and clear up some of the appalling damage we have made to the ocean.. and that is going to require positive action

― Sir David Attenborough

Bury it, Burn it, Dump it

Unrecycled waste, waste of little value, is buried in the ground. Covered up and long forgotten for future generations to mull over. Waste is dropped into a large furnace for fuel, the resulting heat generates steam to power our towns and cities, our factories.

Say nothing of the toxic fumes released as we consume. Our cells mutate. Our body's degrade.

More than 8 billion metric tons2 of plastic has been created in the last 70 years, globally.

Unforgiveable. The world must take lessons from Germany.3





Official Mary Jean®

Mary Jean® Cruelty Free Beauty & Home Fragrance

What actions are we taking?

The decision to stop using plastic jars and move to glass was made many years ago, and Mary Jean® continues with the policy to use glass for their jars.

The only plastic bottles found in the product range are our two lotions.

We are thoroughly seeking an alternative to those plastic bottles. An alternative that is affordable to you our customer. And manageable to us as a business and our operations.

Future products requiring packaging in a bottle will use a glass bottle and a tin cap where possible, otherwise a mixed material closure.


The decision to lessen our packaging dependency began in 2018 with the design of new and smaller sized labelling. The notable change was to use a monochrome black and white design, requiring fewer resources and polluting dyes in printing.

Paper and card may very well be recyclable but a box has had to be die-cut, printed and glued. Waste is still created, solvents are still used.

But a box with nice design sells a product, correct?

Any product made to a high standard with quality materials needs nothing more to sell it.

Now we only use a box for our gift packaging and nothing else. You buy a jar of cream from Mary Jean® it is the jar you get, nothing else.


We do not bulk order our ingredients or raw materials, preferring a system of "just in time" ordering. This makes our manufacturing more sustainable with minimal waste.

For those same reasons, we do not hold a lot of product stock. What is sold was made recently and still smells and feels as fresh the day it was made. Small batched, more often is best and better.


Green sustainable actions for a better planet Earth for future generations, what Mary Jean are doing

Palm: Sustainable, yes if Certified

The Palm is the most versatile of all the plants in which oil is milled.

  • is the Palm tree sustainable?

If the farming of the tree is done responsibly and the harvesting of the crop is managed by smallholdings, then yes.

  • is there an alternative?

There are other trees that yield crop such as Coconut, Olive and Soybean, of course.

But none are as sustainable as Palm.1 2 And no other crop has such a high yield3 of oil tonnage, per hectare what Palm returns.

Palm plantations have destroyed tropical rain forests. That is true in Asia and worryingly in Africa. In South America, the Amazon burns bright orange and red.

But the Amazon burns for Soy plantations, one of the crops with the lowest yields in oil tonnage per hectare.3

Boycotting Palm isn't a Smart Move

Demand for Soy, Olive and Coconut (and many other crops oil is milled from) outstrips the demand for Palm and those three crops produce less yield per hectare in comparison to Palm.

Demand is growing because of a boycott on Palm and the products made using Palm oil.

The more pressing question should not be is Palm sustainable. The question should be are those other crops more sustainable? Bearing in mind their yield is much less.4

More forest may be destroyed for a crop yielding less. The soil must be turned over and irrigated. Native wildlife and indigenous people flee and the Earth chokes even more.

Illegal Palm oil is bad for our forests and native wildlife, for the consumer.5 6 Gray market Palm sold behind closed doors, outside the normal supply chain, below market value is bad for our planet.

Quality cannot be inspected, there is no certification or traceability, very little paperwork. Only a larger profit for the buyer and a "pat on the back" for the middlemen.

And another thing. Palm oil isn't as cheap as it is made out to be.

The Importance of the RSPO

Because there is a greater need for certification and traceability more now than ever before, to prove Palm is from a clean sustainable farm. The cost of those certification programs has impacted on the cost of Palm to the end-user.

This end-user is Mary Jean® for example, and our Palm is organic meaning even more costly.

Is this additional cost worth bearing? We believe so. We believe there is a need for the RSPO and their affiliates, ensuring the best quality oil is sourceable for business. We believe Palm managed well, can still be sustainable and ethically farmed for wildlife to flourish in their natural habitat.

If a Palm plantation is certified by the RSPO then the plantation could be thought of as being sustainable.7 At the very least, measures are in place for the monitoring of land oversight.

Illegal logging is the leading cause of deforestation. Unlicenced logging particularly so on the African continent is a serious problem for the natural world.

To prevent illegal logging in Africa, national governments and NGOs must agree how best to fight corruption.

Related to illegal logging is a crime involving the illegal breeding and sale of prized animals, fueling the greed and unethical business practices.

In fact, many farmers and landowners will now replant native species trees blended in with the Palm, to bring back the wildlife. In fact, many farmers will leave a clearing for herds to congregate, many of whom are dependent on social closeness.

That is the best, better sustainable farming practices. As far removed from greed and power and corruption as possible.









Official Mary Jean®

Mary Jean® Cruelty Free Beauty & Home Fragrance

What actions are we taking?

Mary decided in early 2008 her range of soaps would not be based on a generic cosmetic base. She decided she would use Palm but in limited amounts.

Less than half of the existing 11 soaps are formulated with Palm. Compared to other leading brands on the market today, their soap range is all-inclusive of Palm throughout.

Future formulations developed by Mary Jean® will not include the use of Palm. Preferably Mary will use a wider choice of oils to ensure continued sustainability in her product range.


A promise to continue to use only natural organic ingredients and materials for our product range. As a responsible business, we do ensure our products are biodegradable, safe for the water table and soil.

That means we do not use cheap inferior compounds and chemicals to substitute more expensive, natural ingredients. We do not use salt as a preservative or hardening agent in soap.

Preservatives we use, we use the minimum amount needed to guarantee product safety for the "period after opening", of 12 months.


We source from an ethical, cruelty-free supply chain. We are thorough in detail our ingredients and materials are free from genetic modification.

All our ingredients are genuine and 100% pure, organic is our first choice.

We continue to emphasise the need for our suppliers to minimise their use of plastic packaging. Materials such as corrugated paper, glass, aluminium and steel are viable alternatives.

Official Mary Jean®

Family owned and conscientious. Scotland's premier soap manufacturer.

©Copyright 2022 Mary Jean Limited. Mary Jean is a registered trademark belonging to Mary Jean Limited.

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