At Coral Eyewear, we're committed to shining a spotlight on sustainable solutions all around the world. This week we caught up with Will Pearson, founder of award-winning Ocean Bottle.
Ocean Bottle’s mission is to fund the collection of 1,000 bottles-worth of ocean-bound plastic waste with the sale of each and every bottle as well as empowering collectors in coastal communities to access money, healthcare, education, tech and microfinance in exchange for the plastic collected.
Why should we all have an Ocean Bottle with us this summer?
At Ocean Bottle, we are enabling individuals to have an impact on turning the tap off ocean plastic, whilst creating social mobility in coastal communities worldwide. Each Ocean Bottle funds the collection of 1000 plastic bottles in weight, the equivalent to 11.4kgs of plastic. By choosing an Ocean Bottle, you’ll be part of the solution to the ocean plastic crisis and helping us reach our goal of collecting 7 billion plastic bottles in weight by 2025. Plus, an Ocean Bottle keeps hot things hot, and cold things cold, which is perfect for your morning commute or hike up a mountain!
Your work with Plastic Bank generates income for people across the globe, how does the collection process work?
What many people don’t know is how much plastic pours into the ocean each day. 22 million kgs, enough to fill a truck every minute. We have a massive overproduction of single use plastics and a lack of waste management infrastructure particularly in impoverished coastal communities. The combination is a disaster and means we have a lot of plastic going into the ocean. We need to stop production of most single use plastics and also develop plastic collection infrastructure to solve the problem from both ends. It’s now estimated that unless we do something drastic, ocean plastic will quadruple by 2040. We are deploying plastic collection points with Plastic Bank and enabling locals living in coastal communities around the world to exchange plastic for valuable rewards including money, products, tuition, healthcare, access to microfinance all via blockchain technology. We’re currently funding plastic collection in Haiti, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Let’s dive straight into the big questions… How do you define success at Ocean Bottle?
Success for us is making an impact. We’re really proud to have donated 20.45% of our revenue in the last year. We wanted to create a business model that showed that impact and profit are not mutually exclusive. Sustainability will be the defining feature of successful companies in the new economy – the competition for brands in the future will be who is truly making the most positive impact on society but also who is doing it in a transparent and trustworthy way. To date we’ve funded the collection of 1,974,803 kgs of ocean bound plastic, equivalent to 173,716,000 plastic bottles in weight and by the end of this year, we’re aiming to fund the collection of 3 million kgs of ocean bound plastic.
Ocean Bottle is very engaged in the environmental community – which big news stories give you hope for the future?
Stories like “New South Wales and Western Australia in ‘race to the top’ to ban single-use plastics from next year” are really encouraging because it demonstrates that big changes are being made at a global scale, and we hope to see many more news stories like this in the future. Also, stories like “UK to trial ‘highly protected marine areas” fills us with hope for ocean conservation.
Aside from Coral Eyewear & Ocean Bottle (of course), what other sustainable brands are you a fan of?
There are so many cool companies that are on the front lines of this and it feels like we’re in a force like the Avengers! We really like togetherband.org. They make wristbands from recycled material that raise awareness for the UN sustainable development goals. They are made from waste, supporting local communities in Brazil. We’ve recently collaborated with them to create the #togetherbottle.
Use code CoralEyewearxOceanBottle for 15% off at Ocean Bottle today.