asEnough plastic is produced each day to make almost 22 trillion water bottles.
That’s according to the National Geographic Society and Sky Ocean Ventures, which say more than 90% of this volume will never be recycled – to address this troubling issue, the two organisations have teamed up to launch the Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge.
The programme aims to source ideas from around the world about how to solve the problem of plastic waste.
It is split into three sections, with each one eligible for prizes totalling up to $500,000 (£387,000).
The first challenge is a call to design better packaging, such as creating a biodegradable coffee cup or chocolate bar wrapper.
The second challenge aims to find new, creative zero-waste business models, while the third looks to find a way to effectively demonstrate the scale of the plastics pollution problem.
Innovators can submit their ideas until the 11th of June, which is when a team of judges selected by National Geographic and Sky Ocean Ventures will pick the best ideas, to be announced in December.
Fred Michel, Head of Sky Ocean Ventures, said: “The key point is to help these innovators.
“We want to help them grow, develop their product, do great innovation and then go to market and get these ideas adopted by consumers.”