12 Biggest Ocean Cleaning Companies and Startups

In this article, we discuss the 12 biggest ocean-cleaning companies and startups. To see more such companies, click 5 Biggest Ocean Cleaning Companies and Startups.

The Blue Economy

As governments, institutions and investors all over the world begin to understand the gravity of the climate change problem, they are also starting to see the opportunities in the ESG industry. Take oceans for example. They cover 70% of our planet earth’s surface. There’s a whole economic ecosystem around the oceans, known as “blue economy” in investing circles. The market, which thrives on tourism, water sports, sea food and other related activities, is expected to reach $3 trillion by 2030. And yet the world is continuing the dump endless amounts of plastics in its oceans. Data shows that about 8 million tons of plastics are dumped in oceans every year.

However, over the past decade, millions of dollars were poured in ocean cleanup initiatives. Many companies were able to develop sustainable businesses models by coming up with innovative solutions to solve the ocean pollution problem. Many investment firms are also investing in this domain. For example, last year, the European Investment Bank (EIB) committed up to $20 million to the Ocean fund of Circulate Capital, a New York-headquartered, ESG-focused investment firm.

Photo by OCG Saving The Ocean on Unsplash

Our Methodology

In this article we will take a look at some of the biggest ocean cleaning companies and startups. Some of these companies are nonprofits, while others were able to develop interesting business models around the ocean pollution problem. Some of these companies have raised massive amounts of funding from investors as well.

Biggest Ocean Cleaning Companies and Startups

12. Bracenet

Bracenet is a German company that is using abandoned or “ghost” fishing nets and turning them into beautiful bracelets, playing a key role in the ocean cleanup initiative. The company’s website says that every year a whopping 640.000 tons of fishing nets are lost or dumped at sea. So far the company has collected 773 tons of ghost fishing nets.

11. Ocean Sole

There is a new culprit behind the ocean pollution problem you might be unaware of: flip flops. Millions of beach goers leave their flip flops near the sea every year. These flip flops, which usually have synthetic rubber, do not degrade and are harmful for the environment. These flip flops end up in the oceans, polluting the already devastated marine environment. Ocean Sole is working to solve this problem. Its operations model is simple: it works with local communities to collect flip flops and turns them into beautiful objects and art work. The company’s website shows some interesting and aesthetically pleasing objects it made using abandoned flip flops.

Ocean Sole has offices in Kenya and the US.

10. Fishy Filaments

Fishing nets are among the biggest causes of ocean pollution. Every year, hundreds of millions of marine animals are killed due to abandoned fishing nets in the oceans. These fishing nets are made up nylon, which is plastic and does not degrade. Fishy Filaments has come up with a unique business solution to solve this problem. The company collects fishing nets from the oceans and make commercially viable products from them. The company primarily produces engineering grade nylon filaments for 3D printing made from used fishing nets. Fishy Filaments says it used MasterSpool refill concept to help reduce the amount of single use plastic in circulation and reduce emissions associated with shipping.

9. Searious Business

Searious Business is a Netherlands-based company founded in 2016 by Willemijn Peeters. The company’s goal is to prevent plastic pollution from entering the oceans. For that, it helps businesses in three ways. First, the company helps businesses transition towards sustainable packaging, since plastic packaging is one of the biggest causes of plastic pollution in the world. Second, the company works with furniture makers to help them adapt to sustainable furniture making and move away from plastic waste. The company says it does that through modular design and recycled plastic furniture technologies. Third, Searious Business is working in the consumer electronics sector to develop a “closed loop” of plastics reuse so that consumer electronics companies could use and reuse plastics in their products without producing any waste.

The company’s website lists several projects which it has completed with major brands in the industry.

8. Ocean Bottle

Ocean Bottle is a for-profit company that is playing a role in the ocean cleanup initiative in a unique way. The company sells what it calls “Ocean” bottles, which are made of stainless steel and ocean-bound recycled plastic. The company claims that for each Ocean bottle it sells, it funds the collection of about 11.4 kgs of plastic, which is equivalent to 1000 plastic bottles. The company claims that it pays communities living around coastal areas to collect plastics. If not collected, this plastic is bound to land in oceans. Ocean Bottle’s website says that so far the company has collected 8 million kilograms of ocean-bound plastic. The company is making environment-friendly bottles, as it claims a single Ocean Bottle product emits between 2.8 and 4.5 kg CO2e from cradle to grave.

Ocean Bottle is based out of London. The company was started in 2018 by former London Business School students Nick Doman and William Pearson. In just two years, the company was able to raise $150,000 in pre-seed funding.

7. 4 Ocean

4Ocean is a Florida-based ocean cleanup company that was founded by Alex Schulze and Andrew Cooper, who were inspired to take action when they visited Bali, Indonesia, and saw the problem of plastic pollution closely. They talked to local fishermen and played with the idea of starting a business that would pay coastal communities to collect trash. But the cofounders had another key problem to solve: how will they pay local communities? 4Ocean sells bracelets on its website and funds its operations from these sales. For example, a beaded bracelet on the company’s website shows a price tag of $20, and description says that if you buy this bracelet, you will help remove one pound of trash from the world’s oceans, rivers, and coastlines. The product description also says that the bracelet is handcrafted by local artisans on the island of Bali, Indonesia.

Last year, the company announced that it collected 25 million pounds of trash from the world’s oceans, rivers, and coastlines.

6. Plastic Odyssey

Plastic Odyssey is not a company or business per se. It’s an organization or a project that has a goal to spread awareness regarding plastic pollution and its effects on oceans. Plastic Odyssey is a traveling research platform to gather, develop, and disseminate solutions to fight against plastic pollution.

Plastic Odyssey set sail last year from France on a three-year expedition to find ways to reduce marine pollution by plastics in the 30 countries most affected by this issue in Africa, South East Asia and South America. The expedition will have stopovers at places that are among the most affected by plastic pollution.

Plastic Odyssey has a goal to train 300 entrepreneurs on plastic recycling and using plastics to make useful objects like paving stones and pipes or machines. Plastic Odyssey will stop at different countries and invite local entrepreneurs to pitch business ideas to solve the problem of plastic pollution. The project’s website shows several technologies it is working on and teaching to entrepreneurs to recycle plastics and other forms of materials that are harmful for the environment, especially the oceans.


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Disclosure. None. 12 Biggest Ocean Cleaning Companies and Startups is originally published on Insider Monkey.

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