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Our oceans are being choked by plastic, but new partnerships are turning the tide.

Every year, about 18 billion pounds of plastic pour into our oceans, devastating ecosystems.

“Annually, more than 100,000 marine animals die as a result of plastic ingestion or entanglement,” points out Dune Ives, executive director of Lonely Whale Foundation. “By 2050, the ocean is expected to contain more plastic by weight than fish. We’ve hit a tipping point.”

Emerging awareness has inspired action. “We founded Lonely Whale on the principle of Radical Collaboration,” says Ives. “By engaging with companies, NGOs and influencers to work together to solve this crisis, we’ll be able to go much further, faster, and identify solutions that work.”

A simple idea

One of those partners is S’well, maker of reusable, vacuum-insulated stainless steel bottles. “Our founder, Sarah Kauss, started S’well with the mission to rid the world of plastic bottles,” explains Josh Dean, S’well’s chief marketing officer. “She felt if she could make a bottle that married style and performance, she could do more good.”

To illustrate the impact of this simple lifestyle choice, S’well launched the Million Bottle Project. “If you use a S’well bottle on a daily basis,” Dean points out, “you can eliminate 167 single-use plastic bottles from the ecosystem every year. Our goal is 100 million plastic bottles by 2020.”

Partners needed

“There’s no way we here at S’well can do it on our own,” Dean admits. “We are very proud of the partnerships that we’ve established with organizations like Lonely Whale and UNICEF.”

“Everyone has an opportunity every single day to be part of the solution,” Ives says emphatically. “Start by selecting one thing to change, like using a reusable water bottle. The oceans won’t clean themselves — they need our help.”

Jeff Somers, [email protected]

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