Aims of the association

The environmental organization One Earth – One Ocean e.V. (oeoo) is, according to its statutes, concerned with environmental protection, in particular water and coastal protection.

It has set itself the goal of developing and implementing a concept for ridding waters worldwide of plastic waste, as well as oil and pollutants.

In the multi-stage concept of “Maritime Waste Collection,” plastic waste is collected by special waste collection ships and then recycled or converted back into oil. In this way, around 800 liters of oil could be recovered from one ton of pre-sorted plastic waste.

In addition, the association is involved nationally and internationally in the areas of oil purification, microplastics, as well as in research, education and documentation on the topic of marine litter, in order to achieve a change in people’s behavior with regard to (plastic) waste in the medium to long term.

Since 2018, One Earth – One Ocean e.V. is an official partner of the UN environmental campaign #CleanSeas. In February 2017, the UN #CleanSeas started with the aim to engage governments, the public, civil society and the private sector as partners in the fight against plastic waste in the oceans.

Founding story / History

Günther Bonin, former Munich IT entrepreneur and enthusiastic sailor since his youth days, was annoyed by the ever-increasing amounts of plastic waste which he found on his sailing trips even in the most remote locations.

According to own research, plastic waste was only explored on a selective basis, and there were no technologies to recover plastic waste from the sea. He decided to let his IT company rest and deal intensively with solving this global problem.
In 2011, he founded the environmental organization One Earth – One Ocean eV, based in Munich and built up a team consisting of marine biologists and experts like Thomas Hahn, who co-ordinated the victory of the America Cup at BMW Oracle, or metal constructor Michael Lingenfelder, and other volunteers, to create concept of “marine litter cleanup” for the cleaning of world-wide water bodies from the plastic waste.

Meanwhile, the focus has expanded and oeoo is also working on bringing oil and chemicals out of the water.

First prototypes of the SeeHamster, smaller ships for garbage collection, have been used since 2012 in inland waters and the Baltic Sea.

In June 2015 the SeeKuh was the first prototype of a large coastal seaport.

It took three years to collect and implement the donations, and in autumn 2016 the ship was launched in a shipyard in Lübeck. Since 2017, the SeeKuh has been in use worldwide, including six months in Hong Kong in 2018.

In 2018 oeoo opened an office and laboratory in Kiel/Germany. Meanwhile the association is represented with offices in Munich-Garching, Hamburg, Kiel, Hong Kong, Battambang/Cambodia and Rio/Brazil.

Long-term projects for the removal of plastic waste from water bodies are currently underway in Cambodia (since 2018), Brazil (since 2019), Indonesia and Egypt (since 2020). The SeeHamster waste collection vessels are used for these projects.

Another SeeKuh vessel will be completed and start its work in mid 2020.


The SeeElefant concept, along with its feasibility study, was one of the finalists for the German Sustainability Award Design 2021.


The Swiss Solar Impulse Foundation, led by adventurer Bertrand Piccard, has certified the Circular Explorer with the “Efficient Solution” label.

To apply for the Solar Impulse Label, companies must go through the application process certified by Ernst & Young, where a network of over 400 experts evaluates the solutions to ensure they protect the environment and promise economic success compared to standard market products, processes, or services.

The Circular Explorer by oeoo and Holcim meets these required criteria. It is featured on the Foundation’s website.


Award of the German federal award ecodesign, the highest national award for ecological design in Germany, in the category concept for the waste recycling ship SeeElefant. From more than 300 submissions, the jury chose the SeeElefant and the concept of Maritime Waste Collection as this year’s winner.

The prize, which is awarded annually by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, honours innovative products, services and concepts that possess outstanding ecological quality, an innovative approach and high design quality.


One Earth – One Ocean e.V. is awarded the Special Prize of the Gruner & Jahr SPA AWARDS 2019.

Günther Bonin receives the Special Prize of the Gruner & Jahr Spa Award 2019 from Brigitte Huber, editor-in-chief of BRIGITTE magazine, for her work against plastic waste in the oceans worldwide at a festive gala in Baden-Baden. In recent years, the Special Prize has been awarded to personalities such as 83-year-old oceanographer and environmentalist Dr. Sylvia Earle for her work in preserving the oceans, Franziska van Almsick for her social commitment and Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart for his commitment to eco-effectiveness (design concept cradle to cradle).


Nomination for the Ocean Tribute Award 2018 in the category Society. The award, presented by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation in cooperation with the German Sea Foundation and the water sports fair boot Düsseldorf, honors the most innovative and sustainable ideas on the subject of marine conservation.


The Deurex oil-binding cotton PURE, with which oeoo has been helping to eliminate oil contamination in Nigeria since 2015, was awarded was awarded the European Inventor Award 2017 in Venice in June 2017.

The European Patent Office awards this award every year for outstanding inventions. oeoo has been mentioned as a reference in this context.


Nomination of the SeeKuh for the Bundespreis ecodesignthe highest state award for ecological design in Germany. The jury nominated 26 projects, including the SeeKuh, from more than 350 submissions.

The award, which is presented annually by the Federal Ministry of the Environment, distinguishes innovative products, services and concepts that have an outstanding ecological quality, innovative approach and high design quality.


One Earth – One Ocean e.V. is honored with the prestigious GreenTec Award 2013 for its “marine litter cleanup” concept. The GreenTec Awards are Europe’s largest environmental and economic award, in which the most innovative green products, projects and environmental technologies are awarded annually in various categories.

With music we take on plastic!

A Million Miles Away

With "A Million Miles Away," we are taking the fight against plastic waste to a musical level, aiming to raise awareness and spread our message through our song.

Take a moment to listen!