Ope’s Focus Tool Made of Ocean Plastic and Discarded Wood

Focus Tool and Design object from 100% reclaimed materials.
 

Press Release October 14th 2020

Ope’s Focus Tool Made of Ocean Plastic and Discarded Wood 

Norwegian design company Ope launches its new product, Ope Petrel, a focus tool for the hybrid workplace, made from 100% closed loop marine plastic and reclaimed wood. With Ope Petrel, the company aims to redraw the line between work and private life, to create a better and more productive work environment for home office workers.  

Anchor your focus and communicate it through Ope Petrel

 

Ope Petrel is a beautifully designed office tool that lets you consciously open and close the workday, build and support healthy work habits, and non-verbally communicate to others your state of mind and availability. 

The digital work lifestyle has blurred the boundaries between work and private. Work extends into people’s homes, and private distractions break up and extend the workday. As new habits form and settle, they become harder to break out of. Even though we enjoy the freedom offered by our digital tools, the merge of work and private life create stress and wear our relationships down 

Strangely, while working from home, communication with our nearest become more difficult. Our bodies might be present at home, but our minds are at work. In this state we lack tools for communication with people around us. Out of frustration we might turn to distancing from or even get angry towards our dearest to solve the immediate situation. 

“During the design process, I came to realize that Petrel, purely by existing in people’s lives, would facilitate conversations that are fundamental for healthy relationships. Through active use, it gives us a agreed upon and non-verbal language when situations of overlapping interest occur,” says Creative Director and Designer of Ope, Eirik Helgesen. 

Show that you are available for those around you – Ope Petrel

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the remote workplace lifestyle and increased the friction between people at their own homes that now has become their office space. 

In our time we have a tendency to turn to digital tools for any issue related to communication or managing our work and private life. But humans are not digital by nature, and our natural tools like expressing and interpreting emotions are far richer than what can be digitized. It was natural to use these tools and investigate the analogue universe of form, association and meaning for our solutions to the challenges of the digital age, says Co-founder, designer and CEO of Ope, Lars Urheim. 

Petrel is a completely analog tool that rebuilds the patterns of focus and presence in our work and in our private lives. By positioning the drop shaped wooden handle of the tool, one can anchor one’s own focus, while communicating availability non-verbally to others 

Ope Petrel is in deed innovative, but not only for its functionality. It is a “born circular” product, entirely made from reclaimed materials, and offered in a service model to businesses and organizations, ensuring a completely waste free, closed loop, regenerative value chain. The base of the tool will be the world’s first product made from reclaimed marine plastic offered in a ‘Material as a Service model.  Not only is the component made from 100% reclaimed marine plastic, but the model continually finances more clean-ups in the name of the customer. The regenerative-circular value chain itself is an innovation of Ope and the collaboration project “From Beach to Boardroom” funded by the Norwegian Retailers’ Environmental fund. 

The service offering that includes the object itself, is the result of a partnership between Ope and Ogoori, daughter company of Ope and Vestre, to beat ocean plastic pollution and pushing for a circular economy where waste can find value again. Norway is a circularity novice, with as little as 2.4% of country’s economy being circular. Still, through Ope Petrel, Norwegian Design paves the way for a new circular paradigm, where economic value creation runs hand in hand with cleaning up nature. 

Petrel also demonstrates that owner-less marine plastic is usable and that should be stored in objects to avoid further harm to the environment. In order to safeguard that this plastic does not enter into nature again, it is locked in objects in a rental model and tracked using blockchain technology. In this way, individuals and companies can take environmental responsibility through value chain collaboration, and cut the waste to zero in the process.  

Zero waste initiatives from the industry is really needed. It is estimated that an overwhelming 8 million tonnes of plastic still end up in the world’s ocean every year, and approximately 65 kg of new furniture is purchased by a person per year in Norway. A study has shown that half of over 10 000 tonnes of micro plastic from Norway end up in the ocean each year. Most of this micro plastic come from car tires, paint, rubber granules from artificial turf and textiles.  

 Inspiration for the design and name comes from seabirds, and the base made of owner-less plastic hints to the fact that researchers find plastic in nearly all the bodies of seabirds they examine. The name, Petrel, was inspired from a study by Denmark’s environmental protection agency that was discovered by designer Eirik Høvik Helgesen. The study revealed that more than 95 percent of northern petrels that were found dead off the Danish coast had plastic in their stomachs. The petrel, a seabird, generally hunt for food on the surface of the sea and so are susceptible to ingesting plastic floating on the surface.  

Ope’s vision is to see a world where there is a more balanced co-existence between humans, objects and nature. Ope aims to recreate a system that harmonizes the interaction between industrial activities and the natural ecosystem by providing sustainable products and services, designed for the circular economy. This will open an opportunity to change people’s habit of consumption and leading them to protect the environment.   

 Pre-order can be made on our website: www.ope.eco/petrel  

Close the workday or take a break, anchor and communicate it through Ope Petrel

 

Bio of the co-founders 

 Lars Urheim, Co-founder and CEO 

Lars earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master’s degrees in Interior and Furniture Design from the Bergen National Academy of the Arts. A true entrepreneurial spirit, he thrives under the pressure of creating new solutions to current challenges. Urheim is the inventor of three patented technologies, and have led Opes innovation projects related to regenerative business and circular economy. 

 Eirik Helgesen, Co-founder and Designer 

Eirik graduated from Bergen National Academy of Arts, specializing in Interior and Furniture Design in 2007. In in 2012, Eirik received his masters in Design Product from the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London. Eirik is responsible for visual representation and in-house product design projects. 

 

About Ope  

Ope is a cleantech furniture company, that focuses on building sustainable products and services at the intersection of work and private life. Ope aims to recreate a system that harmonizes the interaction between industrial activities and the natural ecosystem by providing sustainable products and services, designed for the circular economy. This will open an opportunity to change people’s habit of consumption and leading them to protect the environment. In 2019, Ope, together with Vestre and an environmental activist, Rune Gaasø, founded Ogoori, a Norwegian ocean impact company that supplies traceable ocean plastic. Ope plans to incorporate this ocean plastic collected along the Norwegian coastline into their design products, whilst also pushing the industrial value chain for plastic to become more circular.   

Contact details: 

Lars Urheim, CEO

Email: lars@ope.eco

Ka Man Mak, Communications Manager

Email: kaman@ope.eco

Phone:

+47 400 99 899

Ope aims to grow with a negative environmental footprint

Furniture manufacturers Ope and Vestre with beach cleaners, industry and customers as partners, kick off Norway’s most ambitious collaboration to clean up after half a century of marine plastic pollution.

The BIG cleanup

Ope and Vestre, together with Environmentalist Rune Gaasø, have founded the company Ogoori, which will offer traceable plastic raw materials collected from the ocean with a guarantee of origin. A large fraction of the plastic is collected by volunteers from all over the world, through the organisation In The Same Boat on their cleanups along the Norwegian coastline. The 100% ownerless ocean plastic will be tracked through blockchain technology from technology partner Empower. The goal is to upcycle 500-1000 metric tons of ocean plastic to new raw materials in 2020 alone.

The Ogoori company name draws inspiration from Captain Oguri Jūkichi who returned to Japan as a hero, having been lost at sea longer than anyone else in history. Just as he returned to Japan as a hero, the reclaimed plastic that we’ve considered valueless should be treasured for its return from nature. Through Ogoori, the lost plastic will find new value through technology, storytelling and circular economy.

Regenerative Value Chain

“For two centuries, economic growth in the world has been driven by the consumption of non-renewable resources, with 90% ending up as waste after a short time. This is far from sustainable, and an emerging “sustainable” business community is not close enough to rectify the damage that has happened,” says Lars Urheim, initiator of Ogoori and CEO of Ope AS. “Sustainable means “in balance”, but we can’t celebrate balance in a world where 60% of wildlife is lost, greenhouse gases remain in the atmosphere, and the last remnants of untouched nature are eaten up by irresponsible industrialization and development. Sustainability is not enough any more, we need to dig deeper for solutions.”

Ope and Vestre both aim to be at the forefront of the race to be the best at sustainability, and it is natural to work together to reach the goal. With Ogoori, we take it a step further and establish what may be the world’s first company to deliver “Material as a Service” through what we call a Regenerative Circular Value Chain.

What we need now is a massive restoration of degraded nature, and reviving materials that have gone astray. That’s where re-generativity comes in. If we are to have growth in the economy, we must manage to achieve it by cleaning up everything that has gone astray; whether it is returning industrial areas to nature, the extraction of CO2 from the atmosphere, or the cleaning up of plastics in the sea.

This last thing is what Ope and Vestre want to solve through Ogoori, and the principle we call PCS “Plastic Capture and Storage”, an analogy to CCS “Carbon Capture and Storage”. PCS means treating plastic in nature as an oil by-product that needs to be collected and stored in man made objects in infinite to stop it from polluting the environment ever again.

Showcase to inspire

“The world is in a process of restructuring, and Vestre hopes Ogoori can become a showcase for detaching from the correlation between growth and resource consumption. The development of Ogoori will be relevant to the rest of Vestre’s business, and hopefully will inspire other players as well, ” says Jan Christian Vestre, CEO of Vestre.

Ogoori represents a community of beach cleaners, waste-, plastic- and finished goods industries as well as their customers, who jointly take responsibility where others have not, and create a truly regenerative and sustainable economy.

It has been assumed that the ownerless ocean plastic has no value, as it is broken down by sunlight, mechanical wear and consists of a mix of different plastic materials. In addition, it is difficult and expensive to clean it up and recover it. A challenging starting point if profit is the motivation, but it is not, even though the Ogoori founders see the economic value in a market where brand reputation is closely tied to the chosen materials of their products.

The high cost is resolved by Ogoori simply not selling the material. Marine plastic is made available to the industry through a rental model, where the long life of the plastic ensures a manageable price for the customer. – “We have checked with researchers we work with, and dare to claim that we are the first in the world to offer raw materials as a service, at least raw materials that are cleaned up in nature”, says Ogoori co-founder and chairman, Rune Gaasø.

New value from lost resources

Chairman Jon Daniel Nesje and CEO of Ope, Lars Urheim, aims to create growth through cleaning up plastic in nature Photo: Ope

Ope and Vestre also know that this plastic carries something that neither new plastic nor re-circulated plastic from households and industry has, namely a strong history. The plastic is lifted out of nature piece by piece by volunteer and professional beach cleaners through a huge joint effort so that it will not waste, contaminate, be eaten by marine species or broken down into microplastics in the future. Our customers can help facilitate and become a part of this story, by looking after the plastic and at the same time experience the added value that good product and service solutions entail.

Rasmus Hansson, Head of The Norwegian Retailers Environment Fund (HMF) states, “The Norwegian Retailers Environment Fund supported the Ope project from “From Beach To Boardroom” in 2019. We are very pleased that the project is now expanding to an industrial level for re-processing the plastic material to new products in a circular model.”

And while it might be tempting to think of this story as a financial gold mine for the owners of Ogoori, that’s not the goal. The goal is to create exponential growth in the cleanup, and therefore all the profits from Ogoori will be returned to more cleanup, as long as there is plastic left in the sea. The initiative for the establishment of Ogoori has grown out of the close relationship with the beach cleanup community, where volunteerism and public support is the backbone of the cleanup.

We have no desire to exploit volunteers and government support to make money, but will take a role in evolving these initiatives to create a financial result that can be reversed to ensure even more ocean clean up. Ope’s ambition in taking this initiative is to achieve growth with a negative environmental footprint.