The collaboration builds upon the partnership during the past edition of the race to highlight the broad range of impacts plastic are having on ocean health and biodiversity. The new programme of work, with the official drinking water provider of The Ocean Race, will also explore ways education and science can help advance our understanding of the long-term effects of plastic pollution.
“We are proud to announce that we are continuing to work in partnership with Bluewater,” said Johan Salén, the Managing Director of The Ocean Race. “Encouraging people to re-evaluate their relationship with plastic and how they consume water is central to our mission and was a key element in reducing our environmental footprint in the previous race.”
“Barely a day goes by without new evidence emerging of the way microplastics are inundating our planet and now found in the water we drink, the food we eat and the air we breathe, but we need to focus not just on the problem but also the alternatives available to tackle the use of disposable, single-use water bottles,” said Anders Jacobson, co-founder and CEO of Blue, the impact-focuses investment company that owns Bluewater.
Jacobson said Bluewater intended to use its partnership with The Ocean Race to leverage the power such popular, world-spanning sporting events have to draw public attention to the issue. The company offers the technology both to slash the need for single-use plastic bottles and their transportation and to remove plastic particles and the chemicals they leech from tap and washing water.
During the last edition of the race Bluewater contributed innovative water purification solutions to Race Villages to turn polluted and wastewater into clean drinking water. This led to avoidance of 388,000 single-use plastic bottles during stopovers.
Studies have found that water in our homes, rivers and single-use plastic water bottles all contain microplastic particles. The hydration units are free of these contaminants and other potentially harmful chemicals, pharmaceutical byproducts and toxic metals.
During the 2017-18 Race, Bluewater delivered clean drinking water for visitors to the Cape Town stopover. At the time, a severe drought meant the city was unable to meet public demand for drinking water from municipal sources.
The round the world sailing events new sustainability programme, ‘Racing with Purpose’, launched in conjunction with The Ocean Race Premier Partner 11th Hour Racing, provides solutions for cleaner and healthier seas, with sustainability as a core value of all its operations.
The Ocean Race recently announced plans to develop a series of Ocean Race Summits and Innovation Workshops, starting in Europe in September 2019.
Work to explore the use of state of the art renewable energy systems during the next edition of the race in 2021 and a curriculum-based, schools learning programme were also unveiled.