The amount of plastic and general pollution in the ocean can seem downright overwhelming. That's why when a tangible solution comes along, it can be so exciting. Enter: The Ocean Bottle.
The people behind the Ocean Bottle (a very sleek-looking reusable water bottle that comes in a variety of colors) are aiming to eliminate ocean plastic — but not in the way you might think. The Ocean Bottle founders say that the problem isn't actually ocean plastic, but the "lack of infrastructure and incentives to recycle" that are the real problem.
The Ocean Bottle's mission is to stop ocean plastic at the source: river systems.
According to the Ocean Bottle website, 90 percent of ocean plastic comes from rivers that flow through heavily populated regions (the Philippines and Indonesia, for example). For the people living in these places, there aren't any solutions for recycling plastic other than dumpling their waste in the rivers, which then feed into the ocean. You can see the problem.
Ocean Bottle is working to build infrastructure that supports recycling in these communities and to "change the image of plastic" into something valuable.
Hopefully, then, people wouldn't want to simply throw away plastic when they could recycle it for a reward.
Launching in fall 2018, purchasing the Ocean Bottle helps the team collect 26.5 pounds of plastic, which is the equivalent of 1000 plastic bottles.
The Ocean Bottle hopes to prevent over 3 billion plastic bottles each year from entering the oceans in five years time through a "global recycling system."
While it remains to be seen whether or not the program will work, the concept certainly seems promising.
And the leak-proof, Norwegian-designed, BPA-free bottle (which features cool things like an anti-sweat exterior) doesn't seem that bad, either.
With a giant "plastic vortex" twice the size of the state of Texas growing in the Pacific Ocean, innovations like the Ocean Bottle may be exactly what the planet needs.
And with a ton of programs that focus on ocean plastic removal, a program that really gets to the heart of the problem is a refreshing take on an often overwhelming issue.