SodaStream Launches Device to Clean Plastics From Ocean

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©. SodaStream

This is the first-known attempt of a commercial company to undertake a physical clean-up of trash from open waters.

When Lloyd famously declared that recycling is BS, the main crux of his argument centered on the fact that it should be producers—not consumers—of waste who are responsible for ensuring the lifecycle is sustainable.

SodaStream has always had an interesting take on this concept. Not only does their own product avoid or reduce the use of single-use plastics, but they've publicly shamed the competition for their waste. Now the company has taken another step in this direction, sailing out into the open ocean to collect the trash that other companies don't seem able or willing to deal with.

Here's the scoop from the company's press release:

"SodaStream International LTD. (NASDAQ: SODA) today announced the launch of the 'Holy Turtle' - a massive ocean contraption designed to clean plastic waste from open waters. The innovative device will be initially piloted today in the Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Roatán, Honduras, as part of a bold 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 7 different local schools with local Honduran government officials."

In addition to the Holy Turtle device mentioned above—which to this untrained eye resembles a towed version of the autonomous and unmanned Ocean Cleanup array which just headed off to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch—there are beach cleanups, activity sessions with local schools, as well as talks from environmental experts around the world.

SodaStrem beach cleanup photo

© SodaStream

I'm aware, of course, that any talk of a summit in Honduras to tackle ocean waste will inevitably invite criticism about how all those executives traveled to get there. I get it. In the same way that we can't ignore the travel footprint of tourists cleaning beaches in Bali, we can't laud the environmental heroics of corporate executives without also noting the environmental costs of international travel.

But my default position tends to be this: Corporate retreats are happening all the time. I much prefer a retreat that leaves a positive footprint in its wake and seeks to inspire change long after everyone has gone home.