What started as a project in high school, ultimately lead a West Michigan man turning trash from Michigan beaches into an eco-friendly clothing line. T-shirts, hats, tote bags and more all created from plastic taken from the beaches of the Great Lakes. And it's more than just making clothes. He's also making an impact on combating pollution.

Plastic pollution a problem for Great Lakes

Michigan.gov says studies show that approximately 10,000 metric tons of microplastics enter the Great Lakes every year. And growing up in Muskegon near Lake Michigan, Jackson Riegler decided to turn the plastic problem into a wearable solution. According to WOOD TV,  Riegler says his company Oshki gives back to the lakes he loves.

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How Oshki Turns Trash into Clothing

Riegler tells WOOD TV  that he started Oshki in high school as a project. He then attended the University of Michigan where he was able to start and fund the business. The process starts with beach cleanups to gather trash and recyclable plastics that are then sent to a recycling center to be cleaned and processed. The plastic pellets are eventually broken down and turned into yarn. And from there, the apparel is ready to be made.

Oshki Gives Back to the Great Lakes

The Oshki website says that through their efforts and sales, over 5,000 pounds of plastic have been removed from the Great Lakes and other U.S. waterways. The company donates 5% of its profits to help the Great Lakes pollution problem. By 2025, Riegler hopes to remove 100,000 pounds of plastic waste from Michigan beaches.

Strange Creatures of the Great Lakes

Gallery Credit: Wikipedia

Look! Perfectly Preserved Ship At Bottom Of The Great Lakes

Something lost to man above land, but not forgotten in the seas either. Take a look at the perfectly preserved ship of the SS Daniel J. Morrell at the bottom of Lake Huron, which sank in November 1966.

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