Clean Currents started out with a very different mission; our only goal was to create reusable water bottles from recycled ocean plastic. But as we worked and researched, we kept hitting walls. There was no shortage of businesses that wanted to use ocean plastic in their products, but no one was supplying it. The Plastic Bank would have required us to purchase 500 tons as a minimum order (about $300,000, and they don’t even offer authentic ocean plastic) and Waste Free Oceans would only lease us their “patented plastic-gathering nets” for $20,000 a year (after first purchasing a $10,000/year Gold Membership).
No matter where we went, it was the same story: companies were advertising to the world that they had solved the problem, they were working hard to clean up our oceans, but when we took a closer look, not one was actually on track to making a material difference. We thought that if there were so many barriers and roadblocks to make even a simple water bottle out of ocean plastic, how many others were being prevented from making their own products out of these materials.
We were misled when we started Clean Currents, we believed that the problem of ocean plastic was already being solved by companies around the world, but it isn’t. Disappointed and frustrated, our team gathered around a whiteboard and asked: “How can we be different? How can we go the distance and actually solve this problem once and for all?”
After months of work, we developed a comprehensive plan to collect and process the world’s ocean plastic. It isn’t simple, it isn’t fast, and it isn’t cheap, but it will work. If you would like to read more about it, go here.