Plastic Bans…and Bans on Bans

A typical plastic grocery bag takes over 20 years to break down into smaller particles, but even then, its legacy lives on. According to a study done by students at Duke University’s, Nicholas School of the Environment, 8.8 million tons of plastic waste is dumped into our oceans every year, none of which ever truly decompose. As a result of this plastic emergency, there is a passionate and strong grassroots movement across the United States and around the world to ban single use plastics, including grocery bags, drinking straws, and food containers.

Right now, there are ten states in the US that have passed a preemptive ban on single use plastics. Interestingly, this movement has also sparked a countermovement – bans on bans. There are currently seventeen states fighting bans on plastic products. Why? The root cause of this movement is simple – plastic alternatives are expensive, and these businesses don’t want to invest in a more sustainable future. In 2016, some states in the US banned the ban on plastic bags because they were concerned that it would be too difficult for large companies to switch over and too pricey for smaller businesses to afford the change. Ironically plastic bags are only a fraction of the plastic pollution problem. Consider what a shopper might put in that plastic bag; yogurt containers, chip bags, meat/chicken trays, egg containers, etc. Plastic bags are part of this problem, but there are countless products that aren’t being addressed within the bans. Regardless of current movements to halt environmentally friendly policies from being implemented, forward-thinking companies see the bigger trends in place. Brands want to embrace environmental stewardship and demonstrate corporate responsibility. They want to show their customers that they hear them and are taking proactive steps to find alternatives. These alternatives simply need to be cost effective and easy to implement. Time for a win-win solution.

Imagine a solution that can reduce plastic usage (i.e. pollution) in packaging, is just as affordable as current plastic packaging, and can be implemented immediately. Here at Okeanos™, our Made From Stone™ developments are composed primarily of calcium carbonate, aka stone. The glue which binds our stone together makes it so the product is biodegradable, compostable, or recyclable. All one must do is simply use the product and dispose of it appropriately, and with the help of our compound, it will revert back into its natural state: stone. Okeanos is looking for partners around the world to join this movement. We are accessible and affordable – making the technology much simpler to adapt than one would think. Consumers and investors are starting to demand sustainable practices from the companies and organizations they frequent and invest in. If they are provided with a cost-effective solution, businesses would jump at the chance to move to more sustainable business practices, while still remaining profitable. There are many struggles going on between governments and policy makers, consumers and business owners. Made From Stone is the most efficient solution, that works for both sides of the market.

Product & Innovation

We are excited to share with you our newest product. These Made From Stone bottles will soon be on the market and filled with organic coconut milk.

If you’re interested in printing your logo or label directly onto our packaging, we have some good news. Aside from calcium carbonate’s obvious environmental benefits, it also has an added production benefit. The stone gives the bottle an impeccable white color – not only giving it a pristine look, but there is no need to dye it white to be able to add your designs. This innovation makes production more efficient, while using less energy, less plastic and less CO2. Successful for us, and for the planet.

Rockstar of the Month!Twenty-year-old Killian Evain, from Nantes, France, is a student at ECN studying aerospace engineering. On a trip to America to improve his English, he joined our Okeanos family on an internship. Over the past three and a half months, Killian has worked as an Operations Assistant and conducted comparative research on the carbon footprints of various single-use plastic alternatives. He is passionate about the environment, dedicated to finding solutions to improve it, and therefore, was a perfect addition to Okeanos. With a remarkable work ethic, attention to detail, and overall drive; he is truly inspiring, and his contributions to Okeanos have been invaluable.1. Do you find Okeanos’ vision inspiring?
Absolutely. Okeanos is a company committed to reducing plastic pollution. Not only is this extremely difficult because it’s hard to find any practicable solution,
the plastic industry is essentially a very powerful monopoly, and they do not want to change, making it very hard to really change what’s going on. Using stone as a raw material is very smart and can help people all over the world, especially in poorer countries where the plastic has been accumulating for decades.2. What inspired you to come to the U.S. and contribute to Okeanos?
I’ve been studying to become an engineer in France, and speaking English is a requirement to do this job (at least if you want to be a good engineer). I found out about Okeanos and their mission, and that they were hiring so I pursued the open opportunity with them.3. Are you inspired by environmental conservation through innovation?
I am inspired by all forms of innovation aimed to protect the planet. In my opinion, the most harmful human creations are plastic pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Both contribute to the destruction of the earth’s environment, so even the slightest change due to an innovative solution is a good idea.4. What is your contribution to reducing single-use plastic?
I tend to avoid single-use plastic and buying ready-made meals. It’s obviously hard not to use plastic at all because it’s everywhere, but I’ve tried to do my best. Working for Okeanos and contributing to their cause is maybe the first time I feel like I’ve really helped.5. What is the biggest takeaway you’ve had while working with Okeanos?
Working with Okeanos has been an amazing experience. I’m sad to go back to France and leave the people who are now not only my coworkers but my friends. Regarding my journey with Okeanos, I think that I’ve learned more in these few months in Miami than ever before. I’ve not only improved my English by communicating in this language every day, but I’ve also learned how a company works by creating technical documents, participating in shipments, and having responsibilities.6. What are you most thankful for regarding the experiences you’ve had in the U.S.?
I’m thankful for having the opportunity to go abroad and to have met people from different cultures (it was the first time that I was meeting people from South America). Every experience I’ve had I consider important, but I think getting away from my routine and learning to live in a new country is what meant the most for me.7. Why have you decided to become an engineer?
I have decided to become an engineer because this was the closest way to incorporate my passion: airplanes. This was, regarding my results at school, the best job that I could do. It is also a very interesting one.8. What’s your passion? Your goal?
I have a passion for all physical phenomena. I’m interested in astronomy and the processes around us. I enjoy learning and want to keep learning as much as possible.9. What are your hobbies? What do you like to do for fun?
I enjoy watching movies (my favorite director is Quentin Tarantino) and participating in all kinds of sports.

10.What is your goal? What do you hope to achieve?
My wish is to become an airline pilot. If I must give a goal in my life, it would be to learn as many things as possible and to travel as much as I can.

11. What does success mean to you?
Abraham Lincoln said, “In the end, it is not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” This quote rings true to my beliefs. Success is living a fulfilled life, impacting others in a positive way throughout a lifetime.

Jobs

Masters of Sustainability Interns are Here to Help
We are welcoming three new interns from the University of Miami who are receiving Masters of Science degrees in the study of Sustainable Business. The program focuses on educating students in sustainability.

According to the University of Miami’s website, 85% of firms in the S&P now publish sustainability reports, two-thirds of consumers across six international markets believe they ‘have a responsibility to purchase products that are good for the environment and society,’ and two times the companies with full-time sustainability officers doubled between 1995 and 2003 and doubled again between 2003 and 2008.

The Miami Herbert Business School of UM is a member of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network also called the SDSN. These students not only bring their knowledge, but a deep passion and compassion for sea life. Please welcome our interns: Nicholas Berman, Environmental Analyst of Product Lifecycle, Kat Beaulieu, Environmental Analyst of Carbon Credits, and Conrick Gallagher, Digital Marketing Manager.

Now Accepting Applications
We are currently accepting applications for summer internships in Miami Beach, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Mumbai and Madrid. You must be 18 years or older, enrolled or just graduated college student, have a passion for creating change, all disciplines, and additional language knowledge is a plus! If you or anyone you know may be interested please share and click here to apply.

Did You Know?!

Recently photographer Kristian Laine went diving off the coast of Australia and what he captured caught him and everyone else by surprise. The first and only pink manta ray to be captured on film. He thought something had gone wrong with his camera, but his technology hadn’t failed him; the manta ray is actually pink! He has been spotted less than ten times and has been given the fitting moniker of Inspector Clouseau, after the classic detective movie, Pink Panther.

Scientists first thought his discoloration was due to a unique diet or skin disease, but a Project Manta researcher was able to take a small biopsy from the creature and those theories were quickly disproven. Scientists now believe the manta ray’s pink skin comes from a genetic mutation, such as melanism or albinism. Manta’s are known to have a black back and white belly as to not attract predators. However, due to Inspector Clouseau’s massive size, it is believed his pink belly won’t be a problem and predators will still keep their distance. An adult reef manta like Inspector Clouseau can weigh more than a ton. Discovering sea creatures like this can help researchers to understand more information about genetic

mutations of marine life. We shared Laine’s photo on our Instagram, check it out here and don’t forget to follow us for more posts like this.

#MadeFromStone    #WeAreOkeanos

Info is from: National Geographic

Unfortunately, We Must Postpone
Due to Coronavirus our shows in Bangladesh and Pakistan are postponed. As of now Bangladesh is rescheduled for June 4th through 7th and Pakistan has not yet rescheduled. We still hope to attend both!Welcoming Our Junior Brand Ambassadors Because Saving Our Oceans Has No Age
Introducing our Youth Ambassador Program, we have a young group starting from the age of nine currently enrolled. Meet a couple of them, Paulette, 12, passionate about the ocean and climate change and Shubhasmi, 10, who wrote a beautiful letter about her excitement for joining the program. To read her letter, just click here.Coming Soon
Okeanos is ready to start production in Pakistan, Egypt, France, and Vietnam. We can’t wait to see our products expand around the world and keep making change for our planet. Stay tuned for more updates!