OpenIDEO is looking for innovators to solve the marine plastic problem

OpenIDEO is looking for innovators to solve the marine plastic problem

Plastic pollution is widespread. An estimated 10 million tons of plastic waste is added to the oceans each year; the equivalent of emptying one garbage truck of plastic into the oceans every minute. The situation might get worse: advocate for the circular economy Ellen McArthur predicts that in an unchanged scenario, the oceans will contain more plastic than fish by 2050.

In the media, the problem of plastic in our oceans is often referred to as the “plastic soup” and illustrated by images of beaches covered in plastic litter and animals strangled in plastic. Yet that might only be the tip of the iceberg. According to research organization Eunomia, most plastic waste (94%) ends up at the sea bottom. Plastic doesn’t biodegrade, but it does weather and fragment. Plastic micro particles enter the food chain this way, which could make it also a human health threat. As a recent UN Report describes, this global and complex challenge requires a combination of internationally applied solutions.

Large companies have picked up on the notion of closing the materials loop by re-using ocean plastic in products. For example adidas’ cooperation with NGO Parley provides a strong recent example. The German manufacturer of sporting goods recently launched a series of sport shoes partially made from recycled ocean plastic and together with Major League Soccer and Parley, adidas introduced the First MLS club jerseys made from Parley Ocean Plastic™.

Ready to Contribute? The OpenIDEO Circular Design Challenge

To solve the plastic soup challenge many more examples are required! In the light of the upcoming OpenIDEO Circular Design Challenge on ocean plastics, Finch & Beak invites its friends to participate in our complimentary Ocean Plastic BeakFest on 23rd May. The Ocean Plastic BeakFest is a 3 hour ideation workshop held in Breda, Netherlands in which ideas will be jointly developed to tackle ocean plastic better. 

In case you want to receive our free ocean plastics briefing, write ”yes” in the comment section below and mail our Lars via In case you want to participate live in our BeakFest in Breda, please register via the same mail address.

More information on the OpenIDEO Circular Design Challenge can be found via