Wicked Problems
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Will Pearson: Tackling Ocean Plastic

Will Pearson: Tackling Ocean Plastic

World Oceans Day is here - so we spoke to one founder trying to save them, one bottle at a time.

In this World Oceans Day special edition of Wicked Problems - Climate Tech Conversations, host Richard Delevan dives deep into the pervasive issue of ocean plastic pollution. Joined by Will Pearson, founder of Ocean Bottle, they discuss the alarming increase in plastic production, the environmental and health impacts of microplastics, and the innovative solutions that Ocean Bottle is pioneering to tackle this global crisis.

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Key Topics Covered:

  1. Interview with Will Pearson:

    • Background on Will Pearson and the founding of Ocean Bottle in 2018.

    • Discussion on the impact of microplastics on ocean ecosystems, particularly the reproduction of plankton.

    • Will Pearson's personal experiences that led him to tackle ocean plastic, including his time spent at sea and witnessing plastic pollution firsthand.

  2. Ocean Bottle's Mission and Achievements:

    • Ocean Bottle's innovative model: funding the collection of 1000 plastic bottles for each product sold.

    • Achievements: Reaching the milestone of collecting one billion plastic bottles.

    • Expansion of collection projects in coastal communities worldwide.

  3. Challenges and Future Goals:

    • Discussion on the challenges of creating a profitable business model that also delivers positive environmental impact.

    • The company's growth from a Kickstarter campaign to raising $9 million in funding.

    • Future goals: Expanding the product range and digital technology to further the mission of reducing ocean plastic.

  4. The Plastics Treaty and Recycling Issues:

    • Insight into the ongoing negotiations for a global plastics treaty.

    • The complexities and inefficiencies of current recycling systems.

    • Potential policy changes, such as extended producer responsibility, to incentivize better plastic management.

  5. Will Pearson's Catalysts:

    • Influences that shaped Will’s approach to tackling ocean plastic, including the book "Net Positive" by Paul Polman.

    • The importance of understanding the problem and the power of innovation in creating solutions.

  6. Final Thoughts:

    • Optimistic outlook on the potential to address ocean plastic pollution through collective effort and innovation.

    • Encouragement for listeners to engage with and support initiatives that aim to protect the environment.

Additional Resources:


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Wicked Problems
Wicked Problems - Climate Tech Conversations (Subscriber Feed)
A show about climate tech - the intersection of people, politics, technology, and capital that will help shape the future. And whether you'd want to live in it.