It has been estimated that more than 5 trillion pieces of individual plastic floating in the world’s oceans. From plastic flip-flops to grocery sacks, this pollution poses a serious threat for marine animals, which often get trapped in the plastic packaging and suffocate or mistake the plastic items for food and ingest the toxins. The plastic situation so bad there are even islands such as Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which spans for miles. With so much plastic entering the sea, what can be done to clean it up? Many organizations around the world are looking to answer this question, and here are a few creative ideas that have developed.
Sports wear companies are known for using different fibers and plastics in many of their products to make them durable. After partnering with Parley for the Oceans, sportswear giant Adidas launched sneakers that were developed with recovered oceans plastic, and ran through a 3-D printer to create a stylish running show. Adidas recently announced on producing five million pairs of the Parley footwear in 2018, reducing ocean trash by nearly 55 million plastic bottles.
2017 Edison Awards winner, Saltwater Brewery has developed an eatable version of the plastic six-pack ring holder. These digestible, biodegradable rings are made from barley and other natural materials, so if ingested, there will be no harm to the sea creatures.
Many celebrities are looking to help reduce plastic waste around the globe, an initiative that Pharrell Williams took to heart. Williams recent released a clothing line, RAW for the Ocean, which is turning ocean plastic into wearable fashion. The line is made using a four-step process that removed plastics from beaches worldwide and breaks the components down into weavable clothing fibers.
Trash and beauty may be two words you don’t expect to hear in the same sentence, but international architectural design firm, SPRAK, is looking to turn all the world’s trash into a work of art. The company is working to repurpose plastic ocean trash into brightly colored, solar-powered beach huts in Singapore, along the East Coast Park. The huts will utilize high-density plastic, which is extremely flexible as an outer shell. The shell will then be placed atop recycled-glass stems so beach-goers can look across a clean ocean.
The cleaning-products company known as Method is doing its part to clean up the ocean by offering ocean plastic dish and hand soap. Method recovers plastic from the ocean, only to recycle the plastic to create a new bottle ready for store shelves. The company has helped reduce the amount of plastic covering Hawaii’s beaches and continues to look forward into bettering the planet by using wind energy to power production.
These innovative companies have not only embodied Thomas Edison’s ideas, but are making a difference for generations to come.
If your organization is working on a product that will reduce the amount of ocean plastic, let the Edison Awards help spread the word. Nominations are opening soon visit www.edisonawards.com for more information or subscribe to our mailing list to stay up-to-date with news and notes from the world of innovation.