Joining forces to clean the seas

An interview with Antonio Augeri and Andrea Faldella

Ogyre is an Italian start-up that has set itself the goal of cleaning the oceans of waste, with the help of fishermen. Founded by Antonio Augeri and Andrea Faldella, two friends and watersports enthusiasts, the start-up was created after a trip to Morocco, during which Antonio had the opportunity to see up close the devastating impact of marine waste on the coast of the Western Sahara.

ANTONIO:"I am a great surfing enthusiast and I found myself on the coast of Dakhla, in Morocco. I was shocked by the immense amount of waste that the waves were depositing on the beach.
It was a striking realisation, and I felt I had to do something. On my return, I spoke to Andrea, a great friend who also loves the sea, although he does sailing and scuba diving. That is when we decided to set up Ogyre."

Ogyre actively involves fishermen in the collection of marine waste, offering them payment. An ethical partnership with those who know the sea well, who live off it and live with it.

ANDREA: “We wanted to create a business that would be able to make the most of the potential of digital technology, but at the same time be able to build a 'bridge' between the oceans and the people who care about the health of the sea.
Ogyre is founded on a community-driven approach. So we focused on fishing for litter, a practice that is already relatively widespread in Scandinavia, which aims to clean the oceans of waste thanks to the involvement of fishermen, often during their usual fishing activities. Developing a network of fishermen to collect litter from the sea on a digital platform allows us to involve anyone who is interested in the cause, both individuals and companies, and to guarantee the utmost transparency, because every kilo collected is made public and traceable.”

Once the waste is collected by the fishermen, Ogyre ensures that it is correctly delivered and commits to supporting and facilitating its recovery and recycling, collaborating with municipalities and local authorities.

ANTONIO: “Through our platform, individual people can choose to support our fishermen with a direct donation, or by purchasing products produced with regenerated plastic. Instead, companies can team up with Ogyre to create real campaigns for marine waste collection, with the aim of achieving their company's goals in terms of CSR, Stakeholder Engagement, Product Marketing, and External or Internal Branding.
On top of this, we support the companies who collaborate with us in many ways: as a partner for scientific research carried out with institutions and research bodies; to organise Team Building events with a focus on sustainability, such as beach-cleaning days or short fishing for litter sessions with teams in kayaks or canoes.”

With their initiatives, Antonio and Andrea have attracted the attention of important partners, including Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli and the Genoa Aquarium. Together, they share the goal of raising people's awareness of the importance of taking care of our planet, and becoming agents of change to guarantee the protection of the ocean.

ANDREA: “We are very proud to have been Sustainability Partners of Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli since 2022. The goal is to collect 16 tonnes of marine waste by the end of 2024. Furthermore, this year during Ocean Month, in June, we were able to organise a creative workshop at their base in the port of Cagliari, designed to narrate the concept of circularity in an unusual way. We worked with Max Lamb, a British designer known for his attention to the use of recycled materials, in order to explore the creative possibilities and sustainable solutions offered by reusing waste.
Starting with certain waste materials, such as old spinnaker sails, we created multi-purpose bags that are also suitable for cleaning beaches; so these were products that didn't just have aesthetic value, but also made use of materials that would otherwise be considered waste.”

ANTONIO: “The collaboration between Ogyre and the Genoa Aquarium involves an educational campaign to raise the public's awareness on the topic of pollution in the sea, in the form of two initiatives.
The first is that the Aquarium is committed to cleaning one tonne of marine waste from the sea with Ogyre's fishing for litter model, and the second is that we have created an exhibition area in their wonderful space that will be there for the entire summer season, where it will be possible to inform visitors about this joint collection project and update them in real time on the amount collected, the areas covered and the fishermen involved.”

Finally, it is important to highlight that Ogyre is not just a start-up, but also a benefit corporation, and as such we are committed to achieving social and environmental goals.

ANTONIO: “Our model is a regenerative one, which, on top of its economic value, also creates social and environmental value in the contexts where we carry out our ocean-cleaning activities.
We collaborate with fishermen in Italy (we are present at the ports of Cesenatico, Santa Margherita Ligure, Marina di Ravenna, Teulada, Salerno and Cagliari), but also in Brazil and Indonesia.
And it is in these parts of the world that Ogyre's work acquires even more value.
In April, we returned for a visit to our Indonesian fleet.
The experience made us even more aware of how the pollution in these areas is a threat not only to the environment, but also to the very survival of the fishermen and local communities.
The fishermen tell us that since they began to collect waste with us, the crabs and other species that were disappearing under a sea of litter are coming back. The payment that Ogyre gives to the fishermen for collecting the waste also has a direct impact on the community, because it is equal to the pay for a normal day of fishing.”

Collaboration with local communities and sea professionals is a significant step in the fight to save our planet. Ogyre demonstrates that solidarity and collaboration are a fundamental element for addressing the problem of marine pollution. By joining forces, both normal people and fishermen can actively contribute to cleaning the oceans and protecting marine biodiversity. It is important that all of us, as responsible citizens, join these initiatives and work together for a more sustainable future. It is only through collaboration and collective commitment that we can make a difference and preserve our precious marine ecosystems.

ANDREA: “From when we founded the company, in 2020, until today, Ogyre's activities have allowed us to collect over 320 thousand kilos of marine waste.
The goal we are aiming for now is to further increase our fleet, collaborating with a growing number of fishermen in Italy and around the world, and reach a total of 1.5 million kilos of marine waste by 2024: this figure, to give you an idea, is the equivalent of seven Colosseums full of plastic bottles.”


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