Below you will find a list of frequently asked questions and answers for a few common topics. If you cannot find the answer to your question, please feel free to reach out via our contact form.
We put a lot of thought into what the ideal first product would be. Inspired by Boyan’s idea to make a product that provides our supporters with a tangible way to join in our mission and to give them something that they could proudly wear to show their contribution to cleaner oceans. Sunglasses made sense: there is a natural connection to the ocean, they are a product that almost everyone can use, and they are made to last. With the proceeds from each product reinvested into our continued cleanup operations, each pair of sunglasses will make a tangible impact towards clean oceans.
We are able to confirm that 95% of the sunglass’s frames are made with certified. HDPE plastic recovered in the GPGP, and that the remaining contents are colorants and additives that are needed in production. Some parts of the glasses use virgin materials, such as the lenses made of a virgin polycarbonate (PC) to assure the very best quality and protection for your eyes.
We are asking for a contribution of 199 dollars or euros to help fund our cleanup operations. In the EU, this contribution consists partly of a donation to Stichting The Ocean Cleanup. The other part is the purchase price for the sunglasses (including shipping costs and VAT). In the US, the full contribution (including shipping costs and any sales taxes) is made to The Ocean Cleanup Projects B.V. The Early Bird donation of USD/EUR 50 can be applied to this contribution by using the Early Bird Code.
The sunglasses are equipped with polarized category 3 lenses with UV-400. The lenses are not made of recycled plastic, but a virgin polycarbonate (PC) to assure the very best quality and protection for your eyes.
Confirmed by our manufacturer Safilo, the sunglasses are designed to be easily switched out for prescription (sunglass) lenses by your local optician. The lenses can easily be clicked out and new lenses can be inserted. However, alterations to the product (such as inserting prescription lenses) will also void the warranty.
For the very first product made with ocean plastic certified from the GPGP we have been able to make 25,000 pieces out of our catch.
The purchase of one pair of sunglasses equals a contribution estimated to be able to clean an area as large as 24 football fields worth of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This means that the recycled ocean plastic helps to clean up even more plastic.
Your contribution will help us further our mission. To get an idea of what our expenses have been spent on, you can find our annual reports on our Foundation Page form
We worked with Yves Béhar to come up with a unisex and timeless design. Safilo took the design concept and industrialized it, while also ensuring that the material and finish brought the design vision to life.
The frame comes in a navy shade, which mimics waves and the ocean. The hinges and brand plate with your unique QR Code on it are made in our iconic turquoise blue. This QR code leads to your unique account page, and if ever the glasses are lost it can be scanned to connect to the lost & found feature. The lenses are category 3, polarized, and offer UV 400 protection – so perfect for a day at the beach! They are also designed to be easily switched out for prescription (sunglass) lenses with your local optician. How cool is that?
The sunglasses are a unisex model, with the measurements (in mm) 52/21/140. The first measure, 52 refers to the ‘eye size’ which is the width of the part of the frame that holds the lens. The bridge width of 21 refers to the width of the part that goes over the nose. The arms of the frames 140 refers to the temple length. To see if this size works for you, either look at a pair of (sun)glasses that you currently own, or try a similar size to see how it fits you.
If you have Instagram, you can try them on using our: AR filter here
By scanning the QR code, you can see your impact with access to more background information about the project and the product – where some of the plastic was caught, and when. This page tells the story of our mission to clean an area of 500,000 football fields with this first series of products made with plastic collected in the GPGP. The QR code also allows you to amplify your impact, by showing to the world that you support our mission and encourage others to join as well.
There is an option to register your sunglasses to your account, which will personalize the shareable page. Registering your sunglasses will also enable the lost & found feature – whenever someone finds your sunglasses, scans the QR code and contacts us, we can then contact you to re-unite you with your sunglasses.
We are so sorry to hear this! There are several things you can try:
- Make sure you use good light when scanning the QR code, so that your camera can find a good contrast.
- Try zooming in on your camera rather than holding your phone closer to the QR code. If you hold your phone too close, the camera might have difficulties to focus.
- Use an app for QR code scanning. There are various free apps available in the different app stores. These apps are more specialized than your camera scanner.
If none of these options worked, you can contact us through our contact form
The sunglasses were manufactured according to ISO 12312. In relation to the material requirements of this quality standard, and adherence to worldwide manufacturing regulation, we conducted extensive testing to ensure that the material is safe to use for sunglasses. All tests were conducted through an independent testing lab and were shown to meet established requirements.
The material we are not using for this first product will, if research proves this to be feasible, be applied towards future products at the moment we are still going through the entire catch and identifying all the fractions. Through detailed sorting we expect to keep the non-recyclable fraction minimal.
There are a few reasons that we chose to use only ghost nets for our first product. During our Mega Expedition in 2015 we collected ghost nets that allowed us to conduct initial testing to understand the recycling potential and process. These ghost nets are made of HDPE, a homogenous and consistent material with available proxies. These qualities made them the ideal choice for our first product.
The frame is made from HDPE originating from ghost nets collected in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
The case is made primarily from HDPE originally used in our first ocean system, Wilson.
They are made of stainless steel. The plates and hinges are made of recycled stainless steel.
The pouch is made of recycled PET.
The lenses are made of virgin polycarbonate (PC). We chose to use because we are producing a high-quality product and PC lenses had better mechanical resistance and impact resistance compared to other lens types.
We are happy you are asking this important question! Should the sunglasses reach the end of their use, they have been designed to be easily disassembled and recycled. The unique features of the sunglasses, such as the hinges, were designed to make this an easy process. Each component of the sunglasses – frames, lenses, metal parts – can be separated and recycled according to material type.
Based on their experience with other well-established chain-of-custody models DNV-GL created an entirely new standard for harvested ocean plastic. With the newly established chain of custody standard, we can confirm the origin of the plastic retrieved from any body of water. More specifically, in our case, this allows the plastic used in the products to have its origin and authenticity verified by an independent third party.
The standard brought by DNV GL is a chain of custody model; more specifically, it is an identity preserved model (IPM); an IPM provides the highest level of traceably and integrity in a chain of custody model. Followers of the IPM established by DNV GL are required to prove the source of the material and that it has not been mixed with other materials; this is done by confirming three main components: material integrity, traceability, and mass balance.
The Manufacturing Process
The frames are shaped through injection molding. This way of manufacturing allows to work very precisely and to produce less scrap.
Before we could mold the plastic into its new form to become a product, it required a small but necessary amount of additives, such as stabilizers and pigment. These additives allow the material to achieve the performance and technical characteristics required for manufacturing, while at the same time create a beautiful, ocean-inspired aesthetic for the product. The metal in the frames was added for more stability, good display and readability of the logo and the QR code.
Can companies buy your plastic for their products?/ Are you planning on partnering with companies to make products from your plastic catch?
Currently, we will not be selling our collected plastic to companies, though we don’t want to exclude this possibility for the future. One of the main reasons we chose to produce our own product was that a bigger portion of the proceeds can flow back to funding our mission and allow us to clean a larger part of the ocean and maximize our impact. All the while, our supporters will have an opportunity to stay involved in the mission and take part in the cleanup, something not possible if we sold the plastic as a material.
Not only are we able to show that we can create something of value out of plastic deemed garbage, in overseeing this process we can assure the best quality and use of the product that aligns with our mission to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. That being said, we do have a lot of partners we work with to make this all not only possible but a success.
Plastix (recycling), Beologic (compounding), Intertek (quality management), DNV GL (chain of custody), Yves Béehar (creative design), Safilo (manufacturing), Flex (logistics) , AVR (sorting), Holland Colors (coloring), Van werven (recycling Wilson), Ecomatters (regulatory affairs)
After you have completed your purchase, you can share your support from the success page by sharing on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
You can also find a link to the sharing page in your account page, and from there share it on social media. You can log into your account here
We have created a sharing page for you to amplify your impact, by showing to the world that you support our mission and encourage others to join as well.
After you received your sunglasses, by scanning the QR code, you will unlock more background information about our mission and the product, which makes it even more exciting to share our story with your friends.
To change your password, visit https://products.theoceancleanup.com/account/lost-password/, and enter the email used for your account. You should receive an email to reset your password shortly after. If you experience any troubles, please contact us.
There are a number of ways you can access your account.
- To access your account for the first time, you will need to setup an account with the email address that you used while purchasing your sunglasses. You can do so here.
- If you have already created an account, you can access it here.
- You can find a login link in the upper right corner and in the footer of the web page.
- If you have already received a pair of sunglasses, you can also setup and access your account by scanning the unique QR code.
- Please note that you can only setup an account if you have bought or received a pair of sunglasses.
To access your account, you need to create a password. There are several ways to do this. Please note that you can only setup an account if you have bought or received a pair of sunglasses:
- In the checkout, you can choose to create an account right away, by ticking the box ‘create an account’.
- Via the products website, click the ‘Activate your account’ link and use the email that you used when ordering a product.
- When you have received your pair of sunglasses, you can scan the QR code and register your product. If you don’t have an account yet, you can create it right there. In this case, you can use any email address that works for you.
While an account is not necessary, there are many benefits to having one!
- You can see an overview of your orders and track your shipping
- You can see the plastic journey: how we turned the plastic we brought from the ocean into a new product.
- You can find your pre-order coupon code (if you were one of our early supporters).
- You can find out more about how to amplify your impact by sharing your support with friends and family.
If you would like your account data to be removed, please reach out to us via our contact form and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. Our team will assist you in ensuring all data associated with your account it permanently deleted.
For account specific details, see paragraph 6 (six).
We currently will ship to the following countries: United States, Canada, all EU countries, Norway, Switzerland, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Iceland, Australia, and New Zealand.
On December 21st, we decided to temporarily suspend all shipments to the UK, due to Brexit-related customs issues and the new COVID-19 strand. If you have already ordered sunglasses for delivery in the UK, they might be severely delayed. Please reach out to us if it appears your order has been held up. We hope matters improve quickly and we can continue to ship to this region.
Since this is the first time we are selling and shipping products, we have chosen our current shipment region to be North America, all EU countries, Norway, Switzerland, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Iceland, Australia, and New Zealand. Because of the limited supply (due to the limited catch), we want to make the products available in regions where most of our current supporters are. We also had to ensure that we met the regulatory standards for specific markets and establish the appropriate legal terms and conditions and tax registration.
In the future, when we have a more established way of working, we aim to include more regions and countries.
We currently ship to the following countries: United States of America, Canada, all EU countries, United Kingdom, Norway, Switzerland, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Iceland, Australia and New Zealand. Unfortunately, if you do not live within one of these countries, we are unable to ship the product to you.
We apologize for the inconvenience and when we have a more established way of working, we aim to include more regions and countries.
We aim to ship your order on the next business day. Delivery time depends on your location, and delivery days are typically Monday to Saturday with the exception of national holidays.
If you live in any EU country, United Kingdom, Norway, Switzerland, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Iceland, or Andorra you can expect to receive your order in 2-5 days, after leaving the distributor. Shipping to the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand is expected to take between 1-3 weeks.
NB: This year, postal services are especially busy in the holiday season, meaning it can take a bit longer to get your package. Refer to your tracking code and the shipment company website to know more about potential delays.
Please reach out via our contact form if you haven’t received your product within the expected timeframe. If your product is lost or stolen before it is delivered to you (or someone on your behalf), The Ocean Cleanup will send you a new product at our expense.
The costs of shipping and delivering the sunglasses are included in the price of the product, so there’s no additional shipping fee for you to pay. This shipping costs includes the transportation cost and custom duties (if any).
Yes, tracking information will be provided when we ship the product to you. You will receive this information in an email, and you will be able to find the tracking number on your account page.
Recycled cardboard designed especially for this product, with the aim to minimize shipping space and packaging material, while protecting your product.
You can see your order status in your account.
Furthermore, we will keep you updated via emails to confirm your order, notify when your sunglasses leave our distributor, when the courier is on its way, and when according to the tracking information, it should be in your hands.
You do not, this is all been taken care of by us!
This delivery process differs depending on your location. To ensure you don’t miss the exciting moment of receiving your sunglasses, we suggest following the tracking details and try to be home, if possible, when your package is set to arrive.
Your package will be shipped via PostNL to the following locations: the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Great Britain, and Andorra.
- They will attempt to deliver the package two times. After the third attempt, they will leave a notification in your mailbox that your package can be picked up at your local post point. It will remain there for 7 days in the Netherlands, and 14 days in other countries. After this period, it will be shipped back to us at no cost to the customer.
In the case you don’t live in one of the above countries, the package will be shipped via FedEx.
- FedEx will attempt to deliver your package two times.
- If the package was unable to be delivered, it will be shipped back to us at our expense.
- If you are located in the USA, FedEx is following new Covid-19 regulations and will only attempt to deliver the package once. If the delivery is not successful, the package will be sent back to us. However, FedEx has introduced FedEx Delivery Manager (FDM), an e-commerce solution offering interactive pre-delivery notifications to residential recipients. This service is free of charge, and enables customers more flexibility when receiving their package.
We will contact you when the product has returned to our distributor to arrange a new delivery or a refund for the payment of the product.
By accident I inserted my wrong house number/address/postal code. Can I make changes to my order after its been submitted?
Please inform us of the necessary changes as soon as possible via out contact form. If the order has not yet been shipped, we will contact our distributor to ensure the details are changed.
Thanks so much for reaching out to The Ocean Cleanup! We currently accept the following payment methods: Credit Card, PayPal, Ideal, Bancontact.
Some of our US based supporters have experienced issues with their contribution. Please ensure that your bank is not marking the contribution as fraudulent, and that all billing information is inputted correctly (i.e. year/month of expiration date may be switched). If this does not resolve your issues, please reach out to us through our contact form.
For all payment issues, please reach out via our contact form and someone will assist you as soon as possible.
Those who registered before we launched the product will have received their early bird code by email. You can also access your early bird code on your account page.
In the checkout, you can enter your early bird code in the dedicated field. If you login during the checkout process, the early bird code will be applied automatically.
Please contact us via the contact form and someone will help you as soon as possible!
The early bird code will be valid for the current product, until it is sold out.
Each donation will provide a one-time 50 euro/dollar deduction per product ordered.
If you made more than one donation, you will receive only one early bird code that will contain the total amount for all the donations made – you cannot use more than one early bird code per product or order. This early bird code can only be used once, and it is not divisible. Therefore, it is important to place all orders simultaneously to ensure that the total early bird code amount is redeemed. If you placed an order with your early bird code, but did not redeem the entire value please reach out to us via our contact form so we can provide you with an additional early bird code for your remaining orders.
Yes, please reach out to our customer service via the contact form with your order number and the details that you would like to have changed.
Depending on where you have bought your product from, your invoice will display different line items. In both cases the net profits of the product will be reinvested in the cleanup mission. For payments made in Europe, we recommend you keep this invoice if you indent to deduct the donation portion.
- Product price – this includes product costs and average shipping cost, and VAT where applicable.
- Donation – this amount will go directly to our Netherlands based Stichting The Ocean Cleanup, as is tax deductible where applicable. Since tax laws vary by country and region, you should consult a tax professional or review the laws for your area to determine whether a donation is tax-deductible.
- Product price
- Taxes where applicable.
Because of limited availability, we want to give as many of our supporters a chance to take part in the cleanup. If you have a unique situation where you would like more than 10 pairs of sunglasses, please contact form.
100% of the product’s proceeds will fund the continuation of the cleanup.
We are a non-profit – this will not change. We have always said we are a project, and we do not want to be the garbage people of the ocean forever. We want to put ourselves out of business – when the oceans are clean, we will no longer need to exist.
Our main goal in repurposing the plastic into products is to help us fund the continuation of the cleanup, with 100% of the product’s proceeds going back into our cleanup operations. We are a non-profit – this will not change. We have always said we are a project, and we do not want to be the garbage men/women of the ocean forever. We want to put ourselves out of business -when the oceans are clean, we will no longer need to exist.
If you would like to gift the sunglasses to someone else, you can do as follows:
- Initiate checkout
- Fill in your own billing details and email
- Tick the box “Is this a gift?”
- Fill in your billing address
- You can choose to have the sunglasses shipped to yourself or directly to the recipient
- Proceed to payment
- You will receive the receipt per your emails, as well as updates related to the shipping status. You can choose to forward those emails to the recipient or only relay the parts you find most useful.
If you want to gift to multiple people, we recommend either shipping all of them to you or creating multiple orders with different shipping addresses.
To enhance the gifting experience, you can download the following gift templates:
– For mobile
– For printing
– For email and desktop
When they receive the product (either by mail or given by you), you can also let them know how and why to scan the QR code.
We would also love to see how the receiver is wearing them and hear their story. By posting a photo on social with the hashtag #theoceancleanup and/or tag @theoceancleanup we can see it, and we might even include them in a compilation video of supporters – with their permission.
If you want to gift to multiple people, we recommend either shipping all of them to you or creating multiple orders with different shipping addresses.
Read more in our FAQ above on how to gift a pair of sunglasses here.
Thank you for taking part in the journey from trash to treasure. While we are sorry to hear that you would like to return the sunglasses, we understand that you may wish to return them. You can return your product in the following cases:
- You can return the sunglasses for any reason within 14 days after the delivery date. The cost for returning the product is at your own expense. For more information on the 14-day return right, see the next question.
- If you have a claim under the warranty with a defective product and if – after consulting with us – we conclude that the product cannot be easily repaired, we may ask you to return the product to us, for which we will cover the shipping costs. For more information on the warranty, please refer to the specific FAQ, contact us via the contact form
Products can be returned for any reason within 14 days after delivery of the product. The costs for returning the product are at your own expense. Please handle the product with care in the meantime because they are in limited supply– once it is returned, we will determine whether we can sanitize and repackage it for somebody else to enjoy.
To use this 14-days return right, please contact us via the contact form. The product should be returned to us within 14 days after you have exercised this return right with all delivered accessories in original condition and packaging. Please follow the instructions as given to you by our customer care team and use the carriers contracted by us, so the return process can run smoothly.
Within 14 days after receipt of the product by our carrier or by us, your payment for the product will be refunded, deducting the costs for returning the product if you used our carriers (which is preferred by us, so we can facilitate a smooth return process for you). You will be informed upfront about these return costs.
If you live in the EU, the contribution you made was partly an irrevocable donation (see Terms & Conditions ). This part will not be refunded. However, should you have second thoughts on the donation as well, please inform us via the contact form.
Because the account is linked to an ordered product, we will delete your account – if any – upon receipt of the returned product.
We have designed and constructed your product with care and we hope you will enjoy it for a long time. The warranty covers the product against defects resulting from faults in material or workmanship for two years after your purchase. Subject to the Terms and Conditions that apply in the region you live in, this warranty does not affect any statutory right you may have under the laws of the country you live in.
Normal wear and tear, including scratches on the lenses or frame, is excluded from the warranty. Damage due to your acts or omissions, or due to an accident, namely damage for which you can be held responsible do not fall under this warranty. Additionally, alterations to the product (such as inserting prescription lenses) will also void the warranty.
Please note that the material we have used for these sunglasses is different than the (virgin) plastic that is usually used in sunglasses’ frames. We have made the frame with HDPE plastic collected from the ocean. Therefore, small scratches may occur during normal use, and are not a non-conformity. Should you so wish, you can minimize the scratches by placing the sunglasses in their pouch after wearing.
In case of any defect, you can contact us via the contact form. Please submit your claim as soon as possible after you detect the defect. A clear and accurate description of the claim will help us response in a swift and appropriate manner.
If we determine that the defect is within reason and covered under the warranty, we will either repair or replace the product free of charge. In case repair or replacement is impossible or undesirable, we will discuss if an appropriate reduction of the price or the return of the product at our costs against a refund of your payment for the product, would be a reasonable solution.
As we have made a high-quality product made with care in Italy, this should not happen! In the unfortunate event that your product breaks, please contact us via the contact form to understand whether this breakage falls under warranty. Please report this breakage as soon as possible after you detect it. A clear and accurate description will help us response in a swift and appropriate manner, and help you in the most effective way.
We are sorry to hear that you no longer want your sunglasses.
If the product was delivered to you within the past 14 days, it can be returned at your own expense. For more information on this 14-days return right, please refer to the specific FAQ.
If it has been longer than 14 days after delivery, we unfortunately cannot offer any refund. We welcome you to continue the life of the product by passing the sunglasses onto another person who can enjoy them. If not, they are designed to be recyclable. See how you can do it below, or you can contact us via the contact form and we will help to ensure they are properly disposed of.
Lost & Found
If you lose your sunglasses and want to have the possibility of being reunited with them, we have a solution. You can connect the sunglasses to your account by scanning the QR code on the inside of the frame. Should they become lost, the finder can scan the QR code to see instructions on how to get in touch with us. We will be able to see in our database that the sunglasses belong to you, so we can then reach out to find out how you would like them returned to you.
This is all optional – you can certainly enjoy your sunglasses without taking this step. By scanning the QR code without linking them to you, you will still see a page detailing the project and the impact of your support.
If you found a pair of sunglasses, please contact us via our contact form and we will try to connect you to the owner of that specific pair.
Outlook to the Future
We want to give the plastic collected from the ocean a new life and it is our responsibility to design a product that has a negligible chance of ending up back in the ocean. We recognize that the ocean plastic we collect is not simply trash, but a valuable material that should not be used and thrown away. With this product we will not only give our supporters the chance to take part in the cleanup and maximize our impact, but we can help show that this plastic, when used responsibly, is far more than a cheap disposable material.
By making something from discarded plastic that you value, that is durable, and that you want to keep and will love to take care of, we are ensuring that this plastic has the least chance of re-entering the oceans.
We trust that our supporters will do their part by taking ownership of it and help us create new stories where plastic used to be, turning pollution into products and therefore adding value. The sunglasses are also designed to be recyclable, which means they are not becoming waste again.
In the unfortunate event that someone loses their sunglasses, the QR code can help us re-unite the product and its owner. We call this Lost & Found. To ensure that your sunglasses are included in this program, you can create an account and register your sunglasses. If the product ever reaches the end of its use, it was designed to be recycled. This is how you can do it:
The most important difference is that the material our product is made of is certified by an independent third party (DNV GL) to have come from the ocean. Most ‘ocean plastic’ is plastic recovered from a variety of origins – sometimes from the ocean but often from shorelines, or even from rivers or on land, with the qualification ‘ocean bound’, without a formal third-party certification.