Can one bottle save the world? The Ocean Bottle could.
The Ocean Bottle isn’t an ordinary stainless-steel bottle that we all have as part of our “beginners guide to sustainability” kit; the purchase of an Ocean Bottle makes an impact directly at the source of the ocean plastic problem.
One evening in February, I was fortunate to meet one of the founders, William Pearson, to find out more about his world-saving plans. William along with the three other founding members: Nick, Mauricio, Michelle, have created a reusable water bottle made from ocean plastic. What could be more ingenious?!
While sailing in the Indian Ocean, William couldn’t help but notice the plastic problem: the plastic in the ocean, and the growing assault of plastic that enters it in Asia.
The Plastic Problem
Over 80% of the plastic that enters the ocean comes from six countries in Asia that lack the infrastructure to dispose of waste; coupled with the proliferation of single-use plastics that are sold within these countries, many of which are single-use sachet products that enable even the poorest in the world to have access to shampoo, washing powder, or ketchup.
However, the problem is only getting worse: more plastic goes into the ocean in 4 days than in the Pacific garbage patch.
Yet hearing all these statistics, images and footage of the plastic in the ocean is heart-wrenching and many of us want to make a difference, yet saying no to plastic straws and plastic water bottles can only go so far when the large part of the problem does not stem from the UK (that is not to belittle or degrade the important work that we need to do to progress our sustainability journeys’).
The Ocean Bottle & The Plastic Bank Collaboration
The Ocean Bottle have teamed up with the Plastic Bank, a social enterprise, who turn plastic waste into currency, incentivising its collection by buying it for above-market rates. The majority of whom collect the plastic are the poor, providing a ladder of opportunity with access to income, micro-finance, and other goods and services.
The purchase of one Ocean Bottle prevents 1000 plastic bottles (enough to fill a small car) making their way into the ocean through their collaboration with the Plastic Bank. Both the Ocean Bottle and the Plastic Bank have a social and environmental impact beyond the parameters of their market but are making a wave of change in how we look at plastic waste, and how everyday products can make an impact across the world, forcing us to re-evaluate our separateness from the ocean plastic problem.
In this respect, the Ocean Bottle teamed with the Plastic Bank could change the world, enabling people like me to sip my water happy in the knowledge that it’s stopped plastic entering the ocean, and helped, even in the smallest way, alleviate the social and economic injustices that plight millions in poverty, and plastic ridden parts of the world.
No Bull Shit Sustainability
There really is no bullshit when it comes to ‘The Ocean Bottle’s’ sustainability, a term that came to the team in one of their team meetings. Their commitment to transparency and making an environmental and social impact is an exemplar of a for-profit-with-purpose company that I spent part of Master’s degree learning about. The Ocean Bottle are forging the way in a new type of business that puts impact first and their no-bullshit approach is one that I whole-heartedly subscribe to.
The Ocean Bottle team have plans to expand to other products to extend their impact in the hope that in the future there will be no problem with ocean plastic, yet due to the growth of single-use plastics across the world, the Ocean Bottle’s business is only set to expand.
The Ocean Bottle’s second round of campaign funding where you can purchase a bottle is open in the coming weeks and the official launch is set to be in July. So do yourself and the world a favour by buying one of the most impactful products of 2019.
I know what my family will be getting for Christmas!
You can pre-order you Ocean Bottle here.