Dutch eco-bottle helps raise funds for ocean clean-up mission

The Netherlands: A significant share of marine litter consists of single-use plastic bottles. ‘If you want to visualise this, this volume equals the weight of 160 000 heavy sperm whales and represents one garbage truck per second,’ says Dutch bottle manufacturer Dopper. In support of Boyan Slat’s Ocean Cleanup mission, Dopper has created a limited-edition bottle, and one Euro from every sale will be donated to his countryman’s efforts to tackle marine litter.

The eco-design of this stylish bottle has earned the company a cradle-to-cradle certificate from Michael Braungart’s foundation. ‘The more Doppers we sell, the fewer disposable bottles will be used,’ argues Dopper, which describes itself as a ‘benefit corporation’.

To further boost sustainable practices, the company is devoting 5% of its annual turnover to the Dopper Foundation. The funding goes directly to special projects such as ensuring clean drinking water in Nepal as well as awareness programmes and eco-design talks given by Dopper’s founder Merijn Everaarts.

Speaking about the company’s ‘PET-free world pledge’, Everaarts states that PET bottles are ‘little plastic horrors that are causing an enormous environmental catastrophe’. After conquering his home market, he set off for New York.

‘After all, US consumers throw away 35 million plastic bottles every year,’ he laments. Realising that Americans appreciate showmanship, he had a Dopper crew recreate the iconic Brooklyn Bridge using 50 000 post-consumer bottles. And in San Francisco, Dopper created a huge plastic wave sculpture with a surfboard in the middle to enthuse people about sustainable packaging.

‘Wagging a finger and telling people what they’re doing wrong doesn’t help; creating fun events does,’ Everaarts observes.


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