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SodaStream has deployed a massive ocean-cleaning device called the “Holy Turtle” to clean plastic waste from the ocean off Honduras.

Modelled after oil spill containment systems, the Turtle is a 1000-foot (304.8-metre) unit towed between two marine vessels, which collects plastic waste on the surface while its large vent holes ensure the safety of wildlife.

It was piloted in the Caribbean Sea off Roatán, Honduras, as part of a four-day ocean cleanup expedition led by Daniel Birnbaum, CEO of Sodastream. The operation was inspired by a 2017 video, featured on BBC, of underwater photography documenting a floating garbage patch near Roatán.

According to Birnbaum, this video moved him to find a solution. “We can’t clean up all the plastic waste on the planet, but we each need to do whatever we can,” he said. “The most important thing is to commit ourselves to stop using single-use plastic.”

The clean-up crew included 150 SodaStream executives from 45 countries, environmental specialists, the NGO Plastic Soup Foundation, and children from seven local schools. The waste collected will be used in an exhibition aimed at raising awareness of the problems caused by single-use plastics, including cups, straws, bags and bottles.

“More than eight million tons of plastic goes into the ocean every year. This plastic doesn't disappear. It breaks up into tiny particles, floats in the ocean, endangers marine life and ends up in our food chain,” said Birnbaum. “We must all put our hands together to reduce the use of single-use plastic and commit ourselves to changing our habits and go reusable. It’s in our hands.”

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