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Product & Innovation: Flying on Plastic

We know the globe has a plastic problem, but sometimes it’s hard to narrow it down. So, we are targeting a place we personally found to be most shocking – to give you a glimpse of how detrimental this problem is and how we can start to take action.

We’re starting in the air, on planes to be exact. According to the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization, there are on average 44,000 flights with 2.7 million passengers per day. That is an immense amount of people traveling and millions of pieces of plastic being given out to those passengers. It is difficult to measure precisely how much plastic is being wasted on one flight, but according to an article from The New York Times, the average passenger will leave behind approximately three pounds of waste. Some of this can be organic waste, but the majority comes from tissue, food packaging, and even items they may have bought in the airport before boarding the flight, all of which contain plastic.

People have proposed solutions like taking out some of the single-use plastics or replacing items with reusable or compostable alternatives, but the issue is timing. These are great ideas in theory, but economically some are not yet viable and in other instances there is a limited supply. So, we at Okeanos have a realistic, scalable, and immediately ready plan to help mitigate this problem with our Made From Stone technology. We want to keep the convenience without harming the world for us or our future generations. We hope to be making this change with many airlines! In the meantime, if you’re wondering what you can do, we recommend turning away plane service and bringing your own prepared foods and your reusable water bottle to fill up after going through security. Also, if you do see any plastic left behind ask a flight attendant if they have recycling or recycle it once you are off the plane.

What are some other items you would like to see us try and replace with stone? DM us on our Instagram or message us on our Facebook and let us know! Because why be a part of the problem when you could be a part of the solution?

Ian and Sustainability

It’s a term we hear every day – whether in the news, on social media, from a friend or family – it seems someone is always discussing “sustainability.” This term is music to our ears because it means our society is moving in the right direction, but some people still don’t really know what it means or how it works. The misconception is that “going green” and sustainability are interchangeable. However, going green is the movement, while sustainability is the actual action with the favorable reaction.  Sustainability actually means that, what we use or do to meet our own needs today, will not compromise the needs of future generations. Yet, many of our current needs are being fulfilled in ways or with products that are not sustainable.

We at Okeanos see, hear, understand, and that’s why we want to be a part of the change. We are committed to this with the guidance and intelligence of one of our Scientific Advisory Board members – Ian McKeown. McKeown is a sustainability professional, serving as Loyola Marymount University’s sustainability officer in Los Angeles. He was the first employee to build the sustainability program from the ground up at the University of Miami. If that wasn’t enough to convince you of how incredible he is, he’s also a professional kiteboarding athlete and is currently hanging out with Richard Branson on Necker Island.

What was a driving factor for you to become involved in Sustainability? How did your interest spark? 

“Growing up and finding a passion for the outdoors and sports. Spending time in nature I saw how lives were impacted in such a positive way by time in nature. I saw how nature reduced stress, created mindfulness, inspired amazing thinking, inspired invention, and built community. It is through cherished experiences and adventures that I developed a close relationship with the outdoors. Overtime I became acutely aware of the challenges and problems facing the planet. As a result, I threw myself to learn through undergraduate and graduate school, research, and life experience to defend our natural playgrounds, resources, and life-giving surroundings.”

What is a common misconception of Sustainability? 

“Sustainability is politically motivated or is expensive. There are no conspiracies on scientific consensus. Sustainability is inexpensive because it is about new ways of approaching the world, spending less, consuming less, producing less, and questioning what own, use and contribute to. Ultimately, sustainability is efficiency, comfort, and building a more convenient future while also looking back to be more in tune with our natural surroundings.”

How do you measure Sustainability and its progress? 

“I measure global awareness in social and political movements as engagement progress. I measure reductions in global emissions, harmful plastics, ocean plastic, water use, energy use, transportation fuel, and dirty energy as progress. If we grow packaging alternatives, alternative energy, and conservation of wild lands and our oceans we are being progressive. New technology, policy, business, and innovation is the answer to progress. I also measure social good and equity as measures of sustainability.”

Why is Sustainability important, in general? And then specifically for what path our Earth is on currently? 

“Sustainability is paramount for our survival, human health, and quality of life. Our earth is on a disastrous path The only way to reverse course is through smart products, innovation, social movements, policy, and reducing consumption. One of our largest issues is the plastic pollution epidemic.”

How do we compete with businesses/organizations that aren’t providing sustainable products/don’t contribute to a more sustainable world? 

“Consumer awareness and demand is rising. It is better business to sell products that have a net positive impact on the world. The economics work out from a social good, brand recognition, and consumer loyalty perspective. As the world changes and demand/ policy is in line with the products Okeanos produces the brand will be in a unique position of power.”

What advice would you give to those who want to be more environmentally conscious but don’t know how to start? 

“Consume less, educate yourself, and ask questions. Think about the full life cycle of everything you buy, every decision you make has an environmental impact. Research what those are. One of the biggest tools you have is to influence and discuss with friends, how you vote, and ultimately mostly where you spend your money.”

What is the most important part of all of this? Education? The products themselves? 

“Product performance is key and raising education around how we are tackling a massive environmental problem.”

What is the hardest part of working in Sustainability? 

“The policy and politics that can get in the way and changing public perceptions from a practical honest perspective is difficult.  However, with great challenges there are amazing opportunities. We are in the midst of a sustainable revolution and heightened awareness like never before. This gives me immense hope for our future.”

When creating sustainable products, what are the most important things to consider? 

“The life cycle and educational value of the product. Designing for efficiency and end of life is key. How much energy, water, and resources and human capital does it take from creation to end of useful life. At the end how can this dissolve back to natural parts or be used again? Through your years of experience, what is something that you’ve learned that has stuck with you daily?

Always have hope and look at the big picture. Keep an open mind and heart with others as they are on their environmental journey. Help someone create an emotional attachment to nature.”

Jobs and Internships Available!

Why is Okeanos’ mission important to you?

Working on Miami Beach is an absolute dream, but even better is working for a company that shares the same concern about our oceans as you. We are replacing single use plastic with our Made From Stone technology. We aren’t just a brand, but a movement – we are Okeanos. We are looking for individuals who have a global perspective, are creative and resourceful.

We have jobs and internships available in public relations assistant, branding assistant, digital marketing assistant, and copywriters in the following languages: Burmese, German, Swahili, Thai, and Vietnamese.

If you believe that replacing just straws is not enough, then you should be a part of our team! Please apply to join.

Our Rockstars of the Month – Okeanos India

At the beginning of this month we went to one of the top ten plastic events in the world, Plastivision. We’re here to tell you we went, we saw, we conquered, and it was incredible. Our graphics and ads were showstoppers and people were eager to come in and talk to us to learn more about what we do. We had our plastic solutions displayed showing what the future of plastic will look like with Okeanos. Our team from the U.S. met up with our team from India as well as Bangladesh and each of them showed why converting from ordinary plastic to Made From Stone is the best solution right now.

We are reducing plastic in large amounts anywhere from 50% to 80%. Thousands of people came to visit us, and we could not have succeeded without the help of four of our most talented and hardworking employees, Ashwin Agarwal, Shikha Agarwal, Ray Loflin and Varsha Thalkar. We would like to honor them as our Rockstars of the month. They made the difference by supporting the team and visitors in an outstanding way, from the Technical, Marketing and Sales perspective.

We are so pleased with our experience in India and we hope to see more of you in our upcoming show in Bangladesh next month, February 12 through the 15th at booth #361

We Can Drive Change Together!

What is happening in the world of sustainability:

We’re collecting stories stories of people who are taking proactive action against single-use plastic.
Share your story with us!

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