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Marine Life & Conservation

The Ocean Cleanup introduces first product made with Ocean Plastic Pollution

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Sunglasses made from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, with 100% of the proceeds funding the continuation of the cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup, the Dutch non-profit organization developing advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic, today presented their plan to go full circle in their mission: creating a product from the plastic they recovered from the ocean to help fund the continued cleanup. The organization has taken its first batch of plastic certified from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP), recycled it, and turned it into something useful and durable: sunglasses. Through a contribution of EUR/USD 199, supporters have the chance to own a piece of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and help fund the continuation of the cleanup, as 100% of the proceeds will go directly to the next cleanup operations.

Full Circle: turning trash into treasure to clean up more trash

The product is made with the first plastic catch during the System 001/B campaign in the GPGP. When the campaign concluded, the plastic was returned to shore in December 2019, marking the end of Mission One and starting the next journey: going full circle from trash to treasure by creating a product to help fund further cleanup. To maintain the claim of origin and give supporters assurance that the plastic is from the GPGP, The Ocean Cleanup followed the steps laid out in the public traceability standard developed by DNV GL, leading global certification body. Recycling this ocean plastic had never been done at a commercial scale before, but, together with a team of experienced partners, The Ocean Cleanup managed to turn it into a high-quality and safe material from which this limited first batch of products has been made. And, because The Ocean Cleanup is a non-profit, 100% of the proceeds will go into next year’s cleanup operations. Each pair of sunglasses is estimated to enable cleaning an equivalent of 24 football fields worth of the GPGP. When every pair from the first batch is claimed, that will equate to approximately 500,000 football fields of cleanup in the GPGP, allowing the organization to use plastic to clean up even more plastic – going full circle each time until they have achieved their mission: ridding the oceans of plastic.

Designed in California, made in Italy

Sunglasses were chosen as the first product because the organization wanted to offer something that is durable and useful and reminds users of the beauty and importance of our oceans. The Ocean Cleanup™ sunglasses are meant to last and stay valuable, they are designed in California by renowned designer Yves Béhar and his team at fuseproject and crafted with care in Italy by Safilo, one of the leading Italian eyewear companies and manufacturer of sunglasses. The frame is made with plastic certified by DNV GL from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The sunglasses’ case is made with the recycled material from System 001, also known as ‘Wilson’, the first ocean cleanup system deployed in 2018. With end of life in mind, from the metal hinges to the polarized lenses, all components are designed to be easily taken apart and recycled again should this be necessary.

“It’s incredible to think that only a year ago this plastic was polluting our oceans and now it’s something beautiful, thereby turning a problem into a solution. Of course, The Ocean Cleanup is only here today
because of our supporters, so I am excited these sunglasses are just another opportunity for everyone to be part of the cleanup and help us maximize our impact. I am thankful for the support of our followers and our partners and for their dedication and efforts to realize this very important step on our mission to rid the world’s oceans of plastic,” says Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup.

Next steps

The sunglasses are now available on The Ocean Cleanup’s website for a contribution of EUR/USD 199. With only a limited amount of plastic from the GPGP available at this moment, availability is finite. Different product lines will be explored in the future to help turn the pollution of yesterday into the cleanup of tomorrow.

For more information about The Ocean Cleaup visit their website by clicking here.

Marine Life & Conservation

Video Series: The CCMI Reef Lectures – Part 4 (Watch Video)

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Introduced by Jeff Goodman

Never before since human beings have had major influence over our earths climate and environments, have we come to so close to the brink of global disaster for our seas and marine life. We need to act now if we are not going to crash headlong into irreversible scenarios.

A good start to this is understanding how the marine environment works and what it means to our own continued survival. We can only do this by listening and talking to those with the experience and knowledge to guide us in the right direction.

CCMI (Central Caribbean Marine Institute) are hosting an annual Reef Lecture series that is open to the general public and Scubaverse will be sharing those lectures over the coming months.


Part 4: Stop Whining! Life as an Ocean Ambassador; Ellen Cuylaerts

Ellen Cuylaerts shares her insights on how to act, practice what you preach and use your voice to contribute to constructive change. Ellen is a wildlife and underwater photographer and chooses to take images of subjects that are hard to encounter like harp seal pups, polar bears, orcas, beluga whales and sharks, to name a few. By telling the stories about their environment and the challenges they face, she raises awareness about the effect of climate change on arctic species, the cruel act of shark finning and keeping marine mammals in captivity.

During this seminar, Ellen will take you on a virtual trip and show you the stories behind the shots: how to get there, how to prepare, how to create the most chances to come home with a shot, and how to never give up!

Ellen Cuylaerts is an ocean advocate, underwater & wildlife photographer, explorer, and public speaker.


For more information about the CCMI click here.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Fit filters in washing machines and slow the tide of ocean plastic

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The Marine Conservation Society’s Stop Ocean Threads campaign, which is calling for all new washing machines to be fitted with microfibre filters, by law, by 2024, aims to stop plastic pollution at source by filtering microscopic plastics from washing machine waste water.

To date the charity’s petition has been signed by over 12,000 people. The petition calls on government to introduce legislation which requires all new washing machines to be fitted with microfibre filters by law. Now, the charity is taking direct action and encouraging supporters to tweet washing machine manufacturers, putting pressure on them to fit filters on all new washing machines and slow the tide of microfibres entering the ocean.

Research conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Marine Conservation Society revealed that most (81%) adults surveyed supported legislative change and a quarter (26%) of those said that they would be willing to pay an additional £50 or more for a washing machine fitted with a microfibre filter. Not only is there is clear public support for legislation to Stop Ocean Threads, but consumers are willing to pay extra for their washing machines to have ocean-friendly credentials.

It’s increasingly important to put this issue top of the agenda for washing machine manufacturers who can take action now helping to address the microplastic issue, rather than waiting for legislation to be put in place.

Dr Laura Foster, Marine Conservation Society’s Head of Clean Seas says: “Our research has found that the public is largely supportive of our call for legislation, and consumers are willing to pay a little more to reduce the flow of microplastics into the ocean.

“It’s fantastic to see the support our petition has received so far, but now we need the public to show their support and join our action to engage with manufacturers directly. If we can show manufacturers that the public wants these filters fitted as soon as possible, we hope to speed up the legislative process and get filters fitted in the near future.”

Members of the public are encouraged by the Marine Conservation Society to go direct to washing machine manufacturers, and get involved in the charity’s tweet action.

“Hey @Miele_GB @BekoUK @Hoover_UK @BoschUK @SamsungUK @WhirlpoolCorp  We want washing machine manufacturers to commit to fitting microfibre filters before 2024. Will you do this and help us #StopOceanThreads? Please retweet and share far and wide”

To sign the charity’s Stop Ocean Threads petition, visit the Marine Conservation Society’s website. Find out more on how to get involved in the direct action here.

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