Importance of Oceans and Ocean Bound Plastic

Over the last few years, there has been a lot of positive momentum concerning ocean health, both in awareness of the issues around solutions.

Why are Oceans Important?

The oceans play an essential role in maintaining the global ecosystem by absorbing and releasing a whole host ofelements that influencethings like temperature, cloud cover, rain, and so on. Also, remember that the ocean generates about 50% of the earth's oxygen, the stuff we breathe.

Why do we need to keep the Oceans clean?

From a purely economic perspective, oceans are important because clean oceans are essential for sustaining food for billions, jobs, and economic development. So even if you don't want to consider the need for clean oceans to maintain the ecosystem, there is no argument against the global reliance on oceans for livelihood. 

Aside from the need for clean oceans for economic factors, a key reason to maintain clean oceans is the well-being of ocean animals.

Why do Ocean Animals matter?

Clean oceans and ocean animal health go hand-in-hand, and we desperately need healthy animals in the ocean to help stabilize the climate. As mentioned above, the ocean maintains the global ecosystem – one fundamental way it does this is by absorbing heat. To do this, the cold water that is lower down needs to come up, and that is aided by "marine vertebrates" who are responsible for up to 1/3 of this mixing, thru swimming up and down thru the "mixing layer". Additionally, sea life contributes to carbon capture, which eventually sinks to the ocean floor.

Ok, so we understand that oceans are crucial for the climate and global economy, and we also realize that ocean animals play a vital role in how the oceans help maintain the environment.  

  1. Pollution
  2. Noise
  3. Climate Change

What are the biggest concerns for pollution (which therefore impacts sea life)?

  1. Plastic Pollution
  2. Agricultural Runoff (pesticides, fertilizers, etc.)
  3. Overfishing
  4. Oil Spills
  5. And a lot more (deep sea mining, sonar, industrial waste, etc.)

So, follow the logic here. Oceans are essential for the global ecosystem -> animal life in the oceans plays a critical role in helping the oceans function -> Pollution, mainly plastic pollution is the biggest concern for ocean health. Then we need to work it backward and do something about the plastic pollution in the oceans, right?! 

If we can reduce the existing plastic pollution in the oceans and stop the plastic pollution cycle that creates plastic in the oceans, then we are breaking a bad chain and helping solve the problem. 

What can be done about Plastic Pollution in the Oceans?

There are many estimates about how much plastic is in the ocean today (up to 200 million tons, perhaps) and how much plastic enters the ocean each year (up to 13 million tons). It's safe to say that there's a problem with plastic in the oceans. So, what is being done about it?


Fortunately, few industries have developed to help gather these plastics in the ocean and to stop the plastics that are on their way to the ocean due to poor handling of the materials in that country/community, littering, or landfill overflow. Up to 80% of the plastic in the oceans can be traced back to ocean-bound plastic – so sorting Ocean Bound Plastic at the source is critical (5)

Here is a list of the top 5 garbage items in the ocean

  • Cigarette butts
  • Plastic bottles
  • Food wrappers
  • Plastic bags
  • Straws/stirrers


Fishing gear is the single largest contributor to Ocean Plastic Pollution.

You may have heard of "ghost nests," but did you know that there are so many ghost nets in the ocean that are not only killing sea life but also disturbing military and cruise ships? 

Ghost nets are a huge problem, and we will discuss these in a post in the future.

The Definition of Ocean Plastic

Ocean Plastic is the plastic garbage – or plastic pollution - in the ocean.

The Definition of Ocean Bound Plastic

Ocean Bound Plastic (OBP) is the material that is recycled or upcycled from abandoned plastic waste that would most likely end up in the ocean without intervention. These plastics are mostly made-up of non-commercially recyclable plastic waste. OBP could be classed into a variety of groups, such as:

  1. Potential OBP: collected within 50 km / 31 miles of an ocean and up to 100m/110 yards into the ocean (Potential OBP)
  2. Waterways OBP: 200m / 220 yards of a river or in a river
  3. Shoreline OBP: 200m/220 yards from a shoreline 
  4. Fishing Material OBP: used fishing gear not discarded at sea

Is there a difference between Ocean Plastic and Ocean Bound Plastic?

While Ocean Plastic has become the shorthand term for Ocean Bound Plastic – a good way to think about it is as follows. Suppose it was stated that an item is Ocean Bound Plastic (from companies like #tide ocean materials or Oceanworks), in that case, those materials have been gathered thru the diversion of materials otherwise on their way to the ocean and gathering of materials that have been in the ocean.

Is it better to buy Ocean Bound Plastic products or simply not buy Plastic products?

The great thing and terrible thing about plastics is how useful they are – they are incredibly good materials – strong, flexible, and applicable in many different instances. So, we believe that the best approach is to follow the old mantra of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

  • Reduce your general plastic consumption
  • Reuse that plastic as much as possible before you're done with it
  • Recycle that item so it can continue in the chain

With this in mind, we at TRIWA know that people want accessory items made of plastic and nylon. So, we have a choice:

  1. Do not create the items.
  2. Use virgin plastic and nylon, which is cheaper.  
  3. Recycled, which is good, continues the cycle, and is a little more expensive?  
  4. Use Ocean Bound Plastic and recycle/upcycle the plastic on the way to the ocean, and be a part of solving a huge problem that impacts the world.

Considering that we were the first watch to produce using Ocean Bound Plastics, we challenged the production model and applied this "new" ocean plastics process to our products. Now we are not the only brand with OBP watches, and we are proud that we were able to drive this change in the industry. 

We strongly believe that we, as a brand, are developing and producing nice Ocean Bound Products, and as a consumer, purchasing those products is an active way to contribute to breaking the cycle of creating Ocean Plastic pollution. If, down the road, there is no need for Ocean Bound Materials, that is a fantastic solution. But until then, we continue to raise awareness and ensure that people have a good alternative to choose from when looking for a watch made of ocean plastic or, in a few weeks, a belt made of ocean plastic.