The Ocean Race, the world’s toughest test of a team in sport, and Ocean Bottle, the award winning reusable bottles tackling the ocean plastic crisis, one refill at a time, are working together to reduce the volume of single-use plastic that ends up in the seas.
A special-edition bottle to commemorate The Ocean Race 2022-23 will be launched through the partnership, which will enable the equivalent of 4.5 million single-use ocean-bound* plastic bottles to be collected, enabled through the use of the Ocean Bottle in the Race’s guest experience programme and availability for purchase in retail outlets.
Andrew Lamb, Head of Partnership Development at The Ocean Race said: “In the race to protect the ocean, there’s no time to waste, so joining forces with partners like Ocean Bottle, who share our mission for healthy seas, is vital to accelerate action.
“As sailors we see first-hand how plastic pollution is choking the ocean. If things don’t change there will be more plastic in the marine environment than fish by 20501. Ocean Bottle is making a real difference, last year alone it stopped nearly 2.5 million kgs of plastic from entering the ocean. Together we can have a positive impact and inspire even more action.”
Each Ocean Bottle prevents the equivalent of 1,000 plastic bottles from entering the ocean via social plastic collection programmes in which community members are paid or provided with other benefits for collecting ocean-bound plastic. These programmes help to empower vulnerable communities with a path out of poverty.
The product also contains a smart chip, which takes people through to an app where they can discover more actions they can take to help the seas. One Blue Voice, The Ocean Race’s campaign for a Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights, will also be highlighted, with a QR code to drive consumers to the petition where they can add their support.
The special-edition bottle will be available in The Ocean Race online store from November, just ahead of the start of the Race, which sets sail from Alicante, Spain, in January 2023. Throughout the six-month event, the bottle will be on sale in Ocean Live Parks, the dedicated race villages in the nine host cities around the world. It will also be available in The Ocean Race Museum store in Alicante and will be gifted to Race guests during stopovers.
Through The Ocean Race’s Racing with Purpose sustainability programme, which was developed in collaboration with founding partner and Premier Partner of the race 11th Hour Racing, the round-the-world sailing event is working to improve ocean health with a diverse range of audiences, including driving action around ocean plastic. This includes pushing decision-makers on plastic policy, cutting single-use plastic in race villages, equipping teams with onboard scientific equipment to measure microplastics in the water as they race and inspiring children to take action through Learning programmes that have reached more than 180,000 students across the world.