Remove Plastic From our Oceans with the Ocean Bubble Buddy

Plastic Problems  

Plastic is a major threat to the health of our oceans. Through rivers and streams, discarded waste makes its way into our sewage, rivers and eventually to the sea, where it accumulates in oceans around the world. Plastic’s extreme durability is what makes it such a useful material—but this durability also makes it a terrible pollutant. All plastic ever manufactured still exists today. Plastic doesn’t decompose, it just gets smaller, eventually turning into microplastics. That amounts to 8.5 billion tons of plastic, much of it in the form of microplastics that usually end up in the ocean—going up the food chain to impact fish, birds, mammals, and eventually humans.  

What is an Ocean Bubble Buddy? 

We partnered with Sea Shepherd and eco-product designer Foekje Fleur as a way to reduce the amount of plastic in our oceans. Introducing the Ocean Bubble Buddy, made out of ocean plastic that already exists in the form of fishing nets. The Ocean Bubble Buddy is a bar soap dish and soap grater designed to make it easier for you switch away from liquid soap and the plastic bottles that it’s packaged in. You can use the Ocean Bubble Buddy to grate bar soap, mix it in water, and use the mixture for different home and body uses. 

While Dr. Bronner’s current post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic soap bottles help reduce the amount of new virgin plastic that gets produced and the amount of plastic that ends up in oceans, the development of the Ocean Bubble Buddy soap dish diverts abandoned fishing nets from the ocean and finds a use for the nets that would otherwise pollute our oceans and Earth.  

About 99% of the plastic used for this multi-use product was collected from the oceans and mainly consists of discarded fishing gear—also known as ghost nets. Ghost nets are fishing nets that have been abandoned, lost, or discarded at sea, on beaches, or in harbors and are a major contributor to ghost gear. Ghost gear includes purposefully or accidentally lost, discarded, or abandoned fishing nets, ropes, long lines, and plastic fishing crates and baskets, and is the biggest single source of plastic choking out the life in our oceans. 

Who is Sea Shepherd? 

Sea Shepherd Global is an international, nonprofit marine conversation organization. Their mission is to protect marine wildlife and end the habitat destruction of our world’s oceans. Since 1977, Sea Shepherd has used innovative direct-action tactics to defend, conserve, and protect the delicately balanced biodiversity of our seas and enforce international conservation laws. Sea Shepherd’s founder famously said, “It takes a pirate to stop a pirate,” and Sea Shepherd vessels and crew members regularly come face-to-face with illegal fishing activities—“we are pirates of compassion hunting down pirates of profit.” Sea Shepherd’s divers continue vital campaigns to remove deadly ghost gear from our oceans. 

Dr. Bronner’s supports ocean conservation efforts through the company’s Animal Advocacy philanthropic program. Between 2016 and 2021, Dr. Bronner’s donated over $150,000 USD to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Sea Shepherd Global. 

In 2017, Dr. Bronner’s donated the vessel MV Emanuel Bronner to Sea Shepherd Germany to support their work protecting the endangered Harbor Porpoise in the Baltic Sea. Under the direction of Sea Shepherd Global, the MV Emanuel Bronner was recently reassigned to support a campaign in the Mediterranean Sea. 

How to use your Buddy 

This product is multi-use—and supports the transition to become a next-level bar soap user—fully embracing the versatility of Dr. Bronner’s Bar Soap. See some of our favorite recipes below from Lisa Bronner’s Bar Soap Dilutions Cheat Sheet! 

The Ocean Bubble Buddy functions as a soap dish by placing the grater side down in the tray base. The holes in the grater side will keep your soap dry and help it last longer. You can also use the Ocean Bubble Buddy as a bar soap grater by setting the grater onto the bubble buddy’s tray, firmly pressing the bar soap against the grater, and collecting the grated pieces into the tray. Mix the grated bar soap in warm water and use for all sorts of home and body uses. For most dilutions, it’s best to use your liquified bar soap immediately after mixing.  

5 Best Recipes for Grated Bar Soap Dilutions 

    1. DISHES (HANDWASHING): Best—Rub dishcloth or brush on bar soap. Or, add 2 Tbsp. (30 mL) grated bar soap to about 1 ½ gallons (6 L) very warm running water. Swish to dissolve. 
    2. LAUNDRY: Recommended in hot and warm water only. Not recommended for HE. Use Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Pure-Castile or Sal Suds in cold water and HE.
      • Grated bar soap: In a food processor, combine one grated bar of soap with 4 c. (960 mL) baking soda. Pulse to blend. Use ¼-⅓ c. (60-80 mL) per large load.  
    3. MOPPING (WOOD, LAMINATE & STONE FLOORING): Add 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) grated bar soap to 1 gallon (4 L) hot water. Dunk mop and wring thoroughly. On wood and laminate, avoid excess water. 
    4. BATH: Add 4 Tbsp. (60 mL) grated bar soap to running warm bath water (Doesn’t bubble, but still cleans). 
    5. FOOT BATH: Add 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) grated bar soap in a small tub of very warm water. Swish to dissolve. 

This special eco-design project was created to bring attention to the growing problem of plastic pollution. Marine wildlife needs safe sanctuaries without pollution, plastics, and other marine debris that choke and destroy their habitats. Sea Shepherd protects this fragile ecosystem and, like Dr. Bronner’s, endorses projects that prevent more plastic from entering our seas—such as the Ocean Bubble Buddy.  

Grab a buddy this month only to support Plastic Free July—it comes with our Pure-Castile Bar Soap and 100% of the Ocean Bubble Buddy profits purchased from drbronner.com will go to Sea Shepherd Global. A perfect eco-friendly, sustainable gift—for you or someone you love—to make the world a cleaner place!

*The Ocean Bubble Buddy is recyclable. 

Author Profile
Mindy Service

Mindy Service is the International Project Manager at Dr. Bronner's, expanding the All-One! vision around the world through sales & marketing. She is a devoted gardener and outdoorswoman, loves dancing and is passionate about food systems change.

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