It's no secret that a disturbing amount of the plastic we use in our day-to-day ends up in our oceans, but one group is making sure it gets cleaned up and used. A scuba diving group is turning plastic water bottles from the ocean into face masks.
The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) is working in partnership with Rash'R, a company that sells eco-friendly active wear. The masks run for $20.40 and come with five replacement air filters.
The group assures consumers that they are not turning a profit on these masks but selling them for the exact cost it takes to make them. "We are not profiting from this product," Lisa Nicklin, vice president of consumer marketing at PADI Worldwide, told CNN.
"We're very much a heart-and-soul organization. We care about the ocean and our diver community, so we wanted to be able to put our hands on our hearts and say that we're not profiting off this difficult time," she continued.
The masks come in five different designs inspired by sea animals.
Nicklin admits that they didn't realize how in-demand the product would be. "We underestimated how popular they would be. I think (consumers) just felt that it was a great thing to do for the ocean while also buying something that they need," Nicklin said.
Based on sales reports, the masks have helped to remove and reuse roughly 1,267 pounds of ocean waste.
CDC guidance still states that everyone should wear a mask or face covering while in public and around others to cut back on virus contamination from talking or breathing.