SodaStream International has lauched the “Holy Turtle” – a massive ocean contraption designed to clean plastic waste from open waters.
The device will be initially piloted today in the Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Roatán, Honduras, as part of an ocean clean-up lead by CEO Daniel Birnbaum.
This is the first-known attempt of a commercial company to undertake a physical clean-up of trash from open waters.
SodaStream’s clean-up delegation includes 150 SodaStream executives from 45 countries, international environmental specialists, NGO Plastic Soup Foundation and hundreds of children from seven different local schools with local Honduran government officials.
The “Holy Turtle” is a 1 000 foot long floating unit designed to be gently towed by two marine vessels along kilometres of open waters. It is engineered to capture floating waste while its large vent holes act to protect wildlife. The device design was inspired by oil spill containment systems and was developed by oil spill containment expert ABBCO.
SodaStream’s Roatán initiative was inspired by a video filmed by Caroline Powers in October 2017 featured on BBC highlighting underwater photography of a floating trash patch off the Caribbean coast of Roatán.
Moved by the disturbing video, SodaStream CEO, Daniel Birnbaum, himself an experienced skipper and naval officer, led a search for a solution to clean up this floating waste.
Birnbaum notes: “We can’t clean up all the plastic waste on the planet, but we each need to do whatever we can. The most important thing is to commit ourselves to stop using single-use plastic.”
The plastic pollution collected by the “Holy Turtle” will be used to create an exhibition to raise awareness and educate consumers around the world toward reducing consumption of single use plastic in all forms including plastic cups, straws, bags and bottles.
“More than 8-million tons of plastic goes into the ocean every year. This plastic doesn’t disappear. It breaks up into tiny particles, floats in the ocean, endangers marine life and ends up in our food chain,” says Birnbaum. “We must all put our hands together to reduce the use of single-use plastic and commit ourselves to changing our habits and go reusable. It’s in our hands.”