What does a search engine have to do with cleaning the Ocean of plastic? OceanHero is a search engine that uses your internet searches and works towards the goal of cleaning plastic from the ocean. It costs you nothing, they are not asking for a donation. Their business model is simple and is based upon billions of people doing billions of searches on the internet using popular search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing. If you choose to use OceanHero as your default search engine, for every 5 searches you do, they are able to pay one person to return the equivalent of one plastic bottle.
How do you earn money? Like any other search engine, we make money by showing ads. The main difference is that we do this not for profit but to save the oceans.
I’ve been using OceanHero as my search engine since July and I am proud to say that I have managed to help rid the ocean of 326 plastic bottles. They show my statistics with a cool counter that also gives me a Level and it’s easy to level up – just do more searches. I can opt out of using OceanHero for my searches at anytime with one click, but as a reminder, OceanHero routinely asks you if you still wish to continue to use them by default.
Where does all the plastic in the ocean come from?
The main source is people living in extreme poverty. Most of the plastic originates in just six countries. In all six of them, a large part of the population lives in extreme poverty and near rivers or oceans.
When living under harsh conditions, proper recycling is not among your top priorities. Most poverty-stricken areas have no functioning waste collection system. As waste plastic has no value to the people living there, they dispose of it in the environment — very often into rivers or oceans.
How is OceanHero making a difference?
By giving waste plastic a value and building a collection infrastructure, OceanHero can tackle the root cause of plastic pollution. To people living on less than USD 1 a day, plastic then becomes a valuable resource. Once a value is attached to it, it becomes worthwhile for people to collect and return it.
OceanHero, together with PlasticBank, pays people in need to recover ocean-bound plastic. They have collection hubs in Indonesia, Haiti, and the Philippines, collectors can now hand in plastic for money. Brazil will shortly be added to the list. At these plastic collection hubs, over 4.300 collectors are now exchanging plastic for money or school tuition or sanitation.
The plastic they bring is weighted and paid for by the pound. Collecting plastic is a viable means of earning a living, for people in countries with extreme poverty.
What happens to the recovered plastic?
OceanHero has partnered with PlasticBank. Founded in 2013 in Vancouver, Canada, Plastic Bank is recognized globally for collecting ocean-bound plastic.
PlasticBank recycles the recovered plastic into what they call social plastic which is then used to create products that support environmental awareness. So far they have collected a whopping 31,124,187 pounds of plastic! That equals to:
Plastic Bank members earn the market rate for collected plastic PLUS the Plastic Bank Membership Bonus to guarantee that living wages are accessible. Read more about their process on their website.
Let’s collect bottles together?
Join Marine Depot in making a difference. Join our OceanHero group and let’s collect bottles together. Thanks for pitching in.
Can I donate to OceanHero? Unfortunately not. But there are many other organizations that accept donations. Like the OceanCleanUp.