The Problem With Plastic

"E malama i ke kai" in Hawaiian means to take care of and respect the sea

Plastic is everywhere. Everything seems to be made out of plastic these days and this material is so cheap, useful and prevalent that we don't even think about it. But if you've been walking along the beach lately you must have noticed that there is more and more of it accumulating everyday as trash when it's no longer useful. The problem with plastic is that not only is plastic trash ugly, but since it doesn't break down it stays in the environment basically forever. On many of our favorite beaches we're now seeing more pieces of plastic trash than sea shells.

Bird that ate plastic
Photo credit: Chris Jordan via

The really sad thing is, sea life aren't adapted to tell the difference between a piece of plastic and their normal food so all too often now plastic trash ends up choking and killing birds, fish and even whales. The pieces of plastic that do break down end up as micro plastics which are still consumed and end up in the food supply, ultimately threatening human health. Plastic pollution in the ocean is a serious problem. Many environmental groups are out there now trying to clean it up and some brands are even capitalizing on the problem and repurposing junk plastic into nice things. But do you really want to put plastic trash on your face when it could end up right back in the ocean again? If there's a better alternative, why not just reduce or eliminate the use of unnecessary plastic altogether?

Lani Ohe on Lani Kai Beach

Our vision at Lani Shades is to get everyone, especially sailors, beach goers and other people who really truly love the ocean to switch to wearing sustainable bamboo and wood sunglasses. We get it, your choice of sunglasses isn't going to save the world. But just imagine, if we can get a million people to switch to stylish, comfortable, biodegradable wood or bamboo sunglasses that would mean that there is potentially a million fewer plastic sunglasses that could end up choking a sea bird.

Lani Shades floating

Lani Shades wood and bamboo sunglasses naturally float and if they float away, that's a little less plastic in the ocean. But what about the lenses you're thinking? Lani Shades UV400 polarized Lani TAC lenses look like ordinary plastic but actually they are made of a 9 layer optical film process that believe it or not is biodegradable as well. We didn't invent it, the technology has been around for awhile and actually most other high end, premium sunglasses brands use TAC (Tri-Acetate Cellulose) lenses as well. That's right, you read that correctly... "Cellulose" the primary component of TAC lenses is actually made of cotton sourced from the USA. There's a very thin polarization layer that's made of a water soluble food grade polymer, but that's about it. We believe that Lani TAC lenses not only offer the very best optical characteristics but are also more eco-friendly than other boat brand sunglasses that promote nylon lenses. Make no mistake, nylon is just regular cheap plastic and will choke a seabird along with their floating plastic frames. By wearing Lani Shades, you're making a statement and choosing to make just a small difference as eco-conscious sailors, beach goers and other ocean lovers who choose Lani Shades for all the right reasons.

The problem with plastic - a solution with Lani Shades