The Ocean’s A Garbage Patch: How These Innovative Companies Are Working To Fix It

Humans continuously contribute to this environmental catastrophe, but some help is on the way.

Sea Turtle is caught in a plastic net
Mohamed Abdulraheem / Shutterstock

Humans continuously contribute to this environmental catastrophe, but some help is on the way.

Oceans are a critical resource that enables life on earth to keep moving forward, yet many people treat them as little more than a landfill. In fact, the Huffington Post reported that an astounding 19 billion pounds of garbage is added to the world’s oceans annually. Even worse, some experts believe this number will hit 38 billion pounds in just seven years.

This puts hundreds – and perhaps even thousands – of marine life species at risk, and it could also lead to the downfall of the human race. After all, oceans account for more than half of the earth’s oxygen supply. They also absorb carbon dioxide and provide a major resource for food, transportation, medicine, and jobs.

Fortunately, there are some companies working on innovative ways to help save us from ourselves. If we were to combine this was a more conscientious approach, it would be possible to bring the oceans back from the brink. At the same time, we’d be able to take care of our own issues instead of relying on the government to force a change via laws banning plastic bags and plastic straws. For example, we could all choose to switch to reusable grocery bags instead, along with using cleanable straws and reusable water bottles.

1. Products Containing Recycled Plastic Waste

Let’s face it, people love accumulating personal possessions. With this in mind, some innovative companies have decided to dredge the oceans for plastic waste, which is then recycled and turned into sustainable products. AFAR pointed out some useful items made in this way, including sunglasses from Sea2See and Norton Point, Adidas X Parlay shoes, the Hamilton Perkins duffle bag, and even men’s swimwear from The Topics.

Another recent contender in the Eco-friendly marketplace is the Awake Watch. This particular sustainable good is made from recycled ocean plastic, runs on solar power to reduce wastefulness, and became fully-funded on Indiegogo within 1 hour.

2. Companies Making Donations in Exchange for Sales

In the ideal world, everyone would simply pitch in to reverse the nightmare that currently plagues each ocean. In reality, time, money, and resources are very limited for most people, so we often have to turn to ocean-friendly businesses to make a difference. There are several companies that have pledged to help clean the oceans in exchange for sales and donations. A prime example is 4Ocean, which removes a pound of ocean garbage for each sale. They then use recycled plastic waste to make their products. Per Odyssey, this has resulted in the cleanup of almost 630,000 pounds of trash.

Other companies with similar eco platforms include TOMS, Devocean, Sand Cloud, and Whole Foods Market.

3. Turning Plastic into Fuel

U.K. startup Recycling Technologies has created a truly innovative method for melting all types of plastic. Forbes reported that this is then turned into Plaxx oil. This newly created substance can be used in polymer production and as a substitute for heavy fuel. Recycled Technologies claims that their plastic melting program can process large quantities of waste in a continuous manner. This alone has the potential to clean up the oceans if enough companies begin using Plaxx oil.

Pic of plastic littering the ocean
  Mr. Anaked / Shutterstock

Getting the oceans clean should be a top priority for humans and marine life, and it’s also important to look at how we manage other water-related disasters. As News-Press indicated back in July, everyone suffers when fertilizer runoff is forced into lakes. For instance, the toxic algae that choked Lake Okeechobee caused the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to release infected water into the surrounding waterways, thus killing marine life and harming the economy.

We can all help by minimizing our plastic usage, recycling everything possible, holding our government officials accountable, and supporting Eco-friendly companies. Without this combined approach, the current ocean situation will become increasingly dire, putting all life on earth at risk.