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At least 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the oceans each year, according to EcoWatch. 8 million tonnes. Take a minute to digest that fact. How about this – the The Ellen McArthur Trust predicts that by 2050, we could see our oceans carrying more weight in plastic than fish. A huge contribution towards this is unrecycled plastic bottles. According to Euromonitor, humans produce almost 20,000 plastic bottles every second.

We’re all aware of the ugly situation that’s developing not just here in the UK but across the globe. Some experts argue that the problem is as serious as global warming. Plastic bottles are polluting our oceans. Reading the facts, seeing the photos, experiencing it for ourselves across Britain’s coastlines makes it a very difficult issue to ignore. If you’re lucky enough to live by a coastline, you’re probably unlucky enough to see the impact it’s having.

The irony is that these bottles are polluting the main resource they’ve been created to contain. The irony is that water is that we have the gift of free water from taps, but yet research by Zenith Global found that in 2016 us Brits consumed 2.6 million litres of bottled water.

Yes it can be hard when we’re out and about, we get thirsty and there’s no other option. But the negative effects of plastic on the environment cannot be ignored. It’s ingested by birds and fish ending up in our food chain. Our food chain. We’re causing damage to ourselves, our wildlife, our natural environment.

The same problem is being experienced across the pond in the USA. But Harvard Business School graduate Sarah Kauss decided to do something about it. Sarah was a former real estate developer who recognised a market for making reusable water bottles ‘cool’ enough to bring to the boardroom. Many sports bottles are suitable for the gym, but don’t sit well in a professional environment. She said:

“It (the water bottle) was ideal for the gym, or pulling out of your backpack when you’re camping, but not for an executive to be carrying around.”

7 years later and S’well was born. Sarah created S’well with the ultimate mission to rid the world of plastic water bottles. Their now extensive range aims to bridge the gap between beautiful design and function. Each bottle, tumbler and traveler is made of a sleek steel material that’s BPA free. The advanced vacuum insulation system has been engineered to keep liquid cool for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours. Result!

The company has gone from strength to strength after appearing on Oprah’s O-list. It’s worked on design collaborations with designers including Swarovski, Lilly Pulitzer, John Robshaw and has worked with charities such as the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Unicef, (RED) and Drink Up.

It’s a truly beautiful solution, to a truly ugly problem.