If there is one troubling fact we’ve observed from spending so much time in and around the water, its how much plastic ends up in the sea. We notice it mostly on the windward sides of islands; jugs, bottles, combs and shoes that wash up on shore and litter the beach in a rainbow of non biodegradable items. Its a sad sight, and while we ourselves try to use as little plastic as possible, or get reuse from the items we can, there’s little we’ve been able to do in a lot of the countries we’ve visited, as any plastic we would even be able to round up from the beach and dispose of would be set up in a big blazing fire instead of being recycled.
This is why my heart lifted with joy when I was contacted by Norton Point so they could tell me about their new project where they collect plastic from the seas and use it in turn to make stylish sunglasses. Their kickstarter campaign of Sea Plastic Differently is a great way to contribute to the cleaning of our seas while still providing yourself with an accessory indispensable to anyone who spends time outside.
Here is a short announcement the company uses to describe their mission:
Norton Point is an eyewear brand based on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, MA. We believe that the 8 million metric tons of plastic flowing into our oceans is one of our planet’s greatest environmental challenges and we have chosen to become part of the solution.
We have developed the first line of eyewear made from recovered high-density-polyethylene (HDPE) ocean plastics. HDPE is a consumer plastic used in millions of products around the world and is one of the most common plastics you will find today.
Now here is where the facts get really cool. For every pair of sunglasses purchased, the company has pledged to collect 1 pound of plastic from our oceans. I don’t need to tell you that it takes a few handfuls to gather that weight, so with every pair made, you can only imagine how much debris is being removed from our waters. Next is that 5% of all net profits go toward global clean-up and education, but here’s what I think is coolest. They’re not just buying this plastic from a major manufacturing company. Norton Point is working with The Plastic Bank who have established a network of collection centers in Hati called Social Plastic® Recycling Markets.
These markets not only help to give employment and a source of income for their local collectors, but they also help to keep the streets and canals of Hati clean after so many plastic bottles are tossed aside here due to it being the only source of potable water around. With your help and the growth of Ocean Plastic Sunglasses, Norton Point hopes to build their own Social Plastic® Recycling Market here as well.
Another disturbing fact is that 8 million metric tons of plastic enter our oceans yearly. By 2050 its assumed that 1 billion tons of plastic will be consumed, many for one time uses. With a rate of 400 years to break down, it won’t be long before there is more plastic in the sea than fish.
What can you do to help? Back this project and it’s mission! They are currently offering three different styles of sunglasses, all which come adorned with their signature stainless steel compass point, and choice of mirror blue or charcoal gray lenses. The high quality lenses offer a scratch resistant and anti reflective coating, as well as a polarized and 100% UVA & UVB blocking filter.
Norton Point closes their campaign by saying:
It’s been a journey getting to this point. There has been moments filled with total joy and moments of heart-crushing setbacks, but if it were easy everyone would do it, right? Innovation takes time. Sea Plastic Differently is over a year in the making. But the most exciting milestone for us will be seeing how we all come together and share our passion and commitment for cleaner oceans.
With future sites for Social Plastic® Recycling Markets include China, Thailand, Vietnam, and even the Bahamas, the next time you take a stroll in one of these areas on a pristine beach clear of plastic and debris, you can smile and know that you helped make the difference.
(All photos and information are property of Norton Point)