Environment

SodaStream embarks on marine waste cleanup mission in Honduras

SodaStream embarks on marine w...
SodaStream has dubbed its first ocean cleanup system Holy Turtle
SodaStream has dubbed its first ocean cleanup system Holy Turtle
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SodaStream has dubbed its first ocean cleanup system Holy Turtle
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SodaStream has dubbed its first ocean cleanup system Holy Turtle

With its reusable bottles and countertop carbonation devices, SodaStream has made quite an impact in the world of refreshments and in effect saved vast amounts of plastic waste from making its way into the ocean. The Israeli company is now looking to play an active role in tackling this mounting problem, starting with a pilot project testing a new device to collect marine plastics from waters off the coast of Roatán, Honduras.

According to SodaStream, the project was inspired by a 2017 video produced by the BBC showing the Caribbean awash with plastic waste, with bottles, cutlery and polystyrene plates coating the surface for miles.

It is indeed ugly viewing, and the company was moved enough to start thinking about possible solutions. It has 150 SodaStream executives working on the project, along with environmental experts, reps from NGOs, local officials and hundreds of local Honduran school children.

Called Holy Turtle, the cleanup device is inspired by oil spill containment systems and is essentially a 1,000-ft-long (304-m) floating barrier. Towed by a pair of boats at either end, Holy Turtle is built to sweep through the waters across a four-day period and collect plastic waste, with specially placed holes that allow marine life to pass through.

There's little technical detail available beyond that, and SodaStream doesn't get too specific about its goals with Holy Turtle. It does say, however, that all the plastic it collects will be placed in an exhibition designed to raise awareness of the problem of plastic waste, and that the local school kids will be trained as environmental ambassadors for their community.

Holy Turtle appears, at least on the surface, rather similar to the device developed by the Ocean Cleanup Project, which is deploying its first systems in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch today. For its part, the Ocean Cleanup Project aims to eventually deploy 60 of its units, with the aim of cleaning up 50 percent of the Patch in just five years. And the more teams tackling the problem the better.

"More than 8 million tons of plastic goes into the ocean every year," says SodaStream CEO, Daniel Birnbaum. "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. 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."

Source: Plastic Soup Foundation, SodaStream

2 comments
Malcolm Jacks
I congratulate Soda stream on there initiative, for some time now I cant understand how some counties are spending trillion of dollars on putting a man on Mars, when our own planet is going down hill with global warming and climate change, I feel they are putting the cart before the horse, by concentrating on Mars before sorting out our own planet. Im not saying we shouldn't send robots into space and onto mars, with virtual reality and artificial intelligence we can do a lot, but sending man to Mars is another thing, we haven't overcome the effects of radiation yet and it will cost trillions of dollars to put a man on Mars let alone bringing him back. But the cost of using Robots would be a fraction of that cost and I sure like the early missions will have its own paybacks, like Microwave ovens etc. , But right now we should put off spending money on Maned missions to Mars for say 30years or so, by then we will be in a better position to send a man to Mars, but right now we should concentrate on Our own Planet Earth, otherwise we may get a man on Mars at the cost of our own planet Earth. Which do your think is more important right now, Mars is not going away, so put it off until we sort out our own Planet Earth . Malcolm Jacks.
EZ
If you really believe we made it to the moon, why is that we've never been back or even plan to go back? It's a lot closer than Mars. I have read that NASA has cancelled the planned 2nd moon shot and has not released any information about ANY further moon exploration by humans. Could it be due to the Van Allen Radiation Belts?