SodaStream Builds Massive Marine Device to Collect Plastic Waste from the Ocean off the Coast of Honduras
CEO Daniel Birnbaum Leads 300 SodaStream Executives from Around the World, Local Youth and Environmental NGOs to Clean Caribbean Sea and Roatan Shores
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 Roatan, 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.
The "Holy Turtle" is a 1,000 ft. long floating unit designed to be gently towed by two marine vessels along kilometers of open waters. The contraption is uniquely 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 ABBCO in Florida, USA, who are leading experts in oil spill containment.
SodaStream's Roatan 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 Roatan. Moved by the disturbing video, SodaStream CEO, Daniel Birnbaum, himself an experienced skipper and naval officer, lead a search for a solution to clean up this floating waste. Birnbaum noted, "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.
The four-day SodaStream mission to Honduras includes participation of children from 7 local schools who will not only work together with SodaStream executives during the clean-up, but will also receive educational sessions from environmental experts to become ambassadors for the environment within their community. Guest speakers include Maria Westerbos, founder of Plastic Soup Foundation; Chris Jordan, Art Photographer who famously captured the piece "Albatross", a powerful visual journey of the gut-wrenching environmental tragedy on Midway Island in the Pacific; Laura Leiva, Marine Plastics Researcher from the Alfred-Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Germany; Elena Gonzalez, co-founder of the Bay Island Coastal Clean-up and Mishelle Mejia, sustainability and CSR consultant.
"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," said 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."
SodaStream is the No. 1 sparkling water brand in the world (in terms of volume consumption) and has recently announced being acquired by PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP) for $3.2 Billion (expected to close approximately year end 2018). SodaStream enables consumers to easily transform ordinary tap water into sparkling water and flavored sparkling water in seconds. By making ordinary water fun and exciting to drink, SodaStream helps consumers drink more water. SodaStream sparkling water makers offer a highly differentiated and innovative alternative to consumers of bottled and canned carbonated soft drinks. The products promote health and wellness, are environmentally friendly, cost effective, and are customizable and fun to use. Products are available at more than 80,000 retail stores across 45 countries. To learn more about how SodaStream makes water exciting, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube or visit www.SodaStream.com .