Boat workers, clad in full weather-proof protective suits, pull up a fishing net onto a boat.

A fresh look at an old product yields a cleaner way to carry water.

In 1997, we designed a simple moulded plastic water bottle cage. For the next 21 years, we made hundreds of thousands in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, 30 miles from our headquarters in Waterloo. Bat Cage became the longest-standing unchanged product in our entire line and one of the most widely sold products we’ve ever made. Simple, light, durable, effective, affordable. Bat Cage was easy to love. On the surface, Bat Cage seemed perfect. But it’s what was under the surface that held all the potential. Through our participation in the NextWave consortium—a collection of companies working to reduce the staggering amount of plastics plaguing our oceans—we were introduced to Bureo, a group of people dedicated to finding a solution to the hundreds of thousands of tons of discarded fishing nets polluting our world’s oceans.

How much good can a water bottle cage do?

Bureo collects the nets and grinds them into tiny beads to be used for injection-moulded plastic products, like Bat Cage. But let’s be honest, it’s just a water bottle cage. How much good can a water bottle cage do? The thing is, Bat Cage is the little hinge that swings a big door. In one year alone, Bat Cage will remove 4,000 square metres of fishing nets from the ocean. And Bat Cage is just the beginning. If one water bottle cage can remove 1,750 kilos of discarded fishing nets from our ocean every year, what impact could we have if we rethought even more of the plastic we use?

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