This week we spent ‘5 Minutes With’ Nick and Will, the inspirational Co-Founders of the Ocean Bottle - the most sustainably minded reusable bottle out there.
By 2025, the Ocean Bottle team have a goal to prevent over 3 billion plastic bottles from entering our oceans each year, as well as helping to develop a global recycling system. Alongside this, they have a partnership with Plastic Bank, ensuring that for the sale of every bottle, they contribute directly to Plastic Bank who ensure 11.368kg of plastic, equivalent of over 1000 plastic bottles will always be collected.
Made to last for life, every bottle is also carbon negative, because of its plastic offset. Designed in partnership with the award-winning design firm K8 from Norway, the bottle is not only made from recycled materials, but it is also fully recyclable, and their manufacturing partners have been selected according to the highest environmental standards.
Each Ocean Bottle is smart chip activated with an NFC chip. This means that in the future with digital advancements, you will be able to donate more money to plastic collection when refilling at partner locations.
What more could you want? Read our interview below to find out how the Ocean Bottle team are helping to tackle the root of our global plastic crisis.
And, if you want to buy an Ocean Bottle yourself, you can do so here, we love the Forest one.
RS: Can you tell us a bit about how the idea for the Ocean Bottle came about?
OB: The idea came about through the realisation that the rate at which plastic pollution enters our oceans was accelerating and that there was no tangible product that embodied the fight against this. Will had loads of ideas of what this product could be but we agreed that a reusable bottle would definitely be the most effective symbol to build a movement around.
RS: What are the benefits of the Ocean Bottle?
Beyond the impact, we designed the bottle from the ground up and addressed all the major pain points people had about the current bottles in the market. For instance, the entire bottle can be taken apart to be cleaned and it has a simple 180 turn lid that you know is closed and won’t leak. We also have an NFC chip in the bottom of the bottle which will allow us to partner with retailers to allow them to fund collection of plastic whenever someone refills their Ocean Bottle with something like a coffee or a smoothie! This is something for the future and this summer we are entering into pilot schemes with cafes around the world.
RS: Where does the money that you raise go?
OB: The money we raise goes straight to Plastic Bank - a fully transparent organisation tackling the ocean plastic crisis but also doing it by empowering local plastic collectors in the process. They pay 3x the market rate for the plastic and hold their collectors' funds for them securely. These funds can be exchanged for cash, health insurance, solar panels, school fees etc.
The funds also go towards building recycling infrastructure in these coastal communities, which means that a lasting system is built rather than this just being a beach clean-up. This long term impact is what is most important to us as we need to stop the flow of plastic in to our oceans first before we tackle what is already out there. They have a seamless operation and it is really awesome to be able to support their work.
OB: Well I love the mantra - we don’t need a handful of people being perfectly sustainable, we need millions (if not billions) doing it imperfectly. This really resonates we me as I know that I am really privileged to live in London and to have a choice in where I shop and what I buy but this definitely is not true for everyone.
So my first tip would be to plan ahead - having a reusable bottle, cutlery, Tupperware and coffee cup with you at all times is surprisingly easy and incredibly effective, especially if you are always on the move. The second and potentially more important tip would be to always pick the sustainable option wherever you can - this is so so important as it sends signals to suppliers that people are willing to change their purchasing habits based on materials used or the supply chain and this is what retailers concentrate on! Our behaviour has an impact and our route to a single-use plastic or carbon neutral supply chain is entirely dependent on whether there is demand for it.
RS: What are your impact aims for the next year?
OB: This year we have already funded collection equivalent of 9.3 million plastic bottles but our target is to end the year with 35 million. This is the first step towards our target of collecting at least 3 billion annually by 2023.
Meet Will and Nick