BIMCO/Ocean Blue water bottle

BIMCO partners with Ocean Bottle to support our campaign to remove single-use plastic bottles from ships.

Published: 10 November 2022

At BIMCO, we believe there's more chance of solving the plastic crisis if many people take small steps in the right direction. On ships, even if plastics are sorted, managed and discharged to shore in a proper way, the mismanagement of that waste on land means it can still reach the ocean. This is independent of all the best efforts of the shipping industry.

As such, we believe removing unnecessary plastics from ships is our best option. By “unnecessary”, we mean those plastics you simply use once and then throw away. With up to 1.75 billion plastic bottles a year being used onboard, our small steps could have a really big impact.

A reusable bottle symbolises the change we believe should be made- ships moving from single-use plastic bottles to sustainable alternatives such as onboard water supplies or larger dispensers. And there are other benefits too:

  • We estimate that an onboard system is significantly less than the cost of providing water in single-use plastic bottles and, in some cases, can pay for itself in only one year
  • Refills can save CO2 emissions - our evidence from one member suggests around 2,355 kgs per vessel per year for one of their vessels
  • Refilling a bottle supports crew welfare too - today’s alternatives provide good quality, safe and nice tasting drinking water.

Why ocean bottle?

Small Bottle, Big Impact.

While there are many options of re-usable bottles on the market and different bottles will suit different ships, at BIMCO we have partnered with Ocean Bottle to support our campaign and to provide us with a product we can give to our key stakeholders to help us spread the message.

Every Ocean Bottle funds the collection of 11.4kg of Ocean Plastic from the worlds most polluted waterways, that’s over 1,000 single use plastic bottles in weight.

Plastic is collected by locals from some of the worst affected coastal communities such as the Philippines, Brazil, Egypt, Ghana, India and Indonesia, who then exchange the plastic for money or receive digital credit to swap for tuition, tech goods, healthcare and micro-finance. This infrastructure is made possible with help from partners Plastic Bank, Plastics for Change and rePurpose who set up collection sites and ensure transactions to collectors are secure through traceable technology.

The Ocean Bottle means that you can pass on single-use plastic every day. We will be sharing our branded bottles among our key stakeholders over the months to come and we hope it will inspire you to join us in addressing single-use plastics onboard. As our partners at Ocean Bottle so neatly sum up:

“We don’t need a handful of people doing sustainability perfectly; we need millions doing it imperfectly.”

Beverley Mackenzie


Dr. Bev Mackenzie

Head of Intergovernmental Engagement

London, United Kingdom