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FootprintFeb 03 20216 min read

Footprint Announces Its Ocean Hero Award Winners

The award recognizes innovative individuals and organizations that are positively affecting the environment on a global scale

GILBERT, Ariz. (Feb. 3, 2021) — Footprint, a sustainable technology firm specializing in materials science engineering, today announced its six 2021 Ocean Hero Award winners. The award recognizes innovators that are improving the environment to create a healthier planet. The award recipients were honored during Footprint’s third annual Ocean Hero Awards ceremony.  

The recipients earned the Ocean Hero Award for their exemplary efforts to improve the environment on a global scale. Their leadership spans replacing plastic with plant-based solutions, thus reducing the carbon emissions; technical innovations to clean up plastic pollution at scale; and an overall commitment to increasing education and awareness around sustainability. 

“Innovative leadership will create a sustainable future,” said Footprint CEO and Co-Founder Troy Swope. “These champions are executing on a vision to eliminate single-use plastics in our environment by providing alternative sustainable plant-based  products and cleaning up the existing debris. Consumers can now choose to improve the health of our planet without giving up any of the convenience.”

View the entire list of 2021 Ocean Hero Award recipients and accolades below:

  • Daily Harvest – Customer Award for the company’s dedication to helping consumers stock their home with clean, delicious food that’s built on fruits and vegetables, all while reducing plastic waste.
  • GloriAnn Farms – Customer Award for implementing plant-based, compostable, biodegradable and marine degradable produce packaging for multiple products sold at major North American grocery chains.
  • SAMBAZON – Customer Award for the company’s commitment to eliminating single-use plastics and caring for the planet we live on.
  • sweetgreen – Customer and Social Impact Award for the company’s dedication to plant-based compostable food ware in healthy fast-casual dining and feeding hospital staff during the pandemic through sweetgreen’s Impact Outpost Fund. 
  • The Ocean Cleanup – Innovative Engineering Award for this non-profit organization’s efforts to not only cleanup the legacy pollution in the oceans built up over the past decades, but also to prevent new plastic from entering the ocean through the 1,000 most polluting rivers over the span of five years. 
  • Vivobarefoot – Innovative Engineering Award for developing the first footwear made from algae, a renewable aquatic resource.

“At Daily Harvest, our mission is to take care of food, so food can take care of all of us. That means taking care of the planet on which that food grows. Convenience and sustainability are often at odds and we don’t want anyone to have to choose between preserving themselves and preserving the planet,” said Daily Harvest Founder + CEO, Rachel Drori. “Last year, we began rolling out 100% home compostable and recyclable packaging that breaks down naturally, instead of sitting in a landfill for thousands of years. We’ve worked towards kicking off our Re:Generation initiatives for a long time and we are incredibly excited about all that is yet to come so it’s an honor to receive the Ocean Hero Award.”

“As farmers, we are stewards of the land and take this responsibility very seriously,” said GloriAnn Director of Marketing, Katie Veenstra. “We are passionate about providing a safe, nutritious, and wholesome product and in order to do that, we must take care of the resources we’ve been given. To that end, we’re reimagining our packaging to deliver the freshest product without the plastic waste.”

Ryan Black, SAMBAZON CEO and co-founder said, “We are thrilled to receive this recognition for our commitment to reducing plastic waste. As a triple bottom line business, reducing our impact through packaging is a priority. Our partnership with Footprint has enabled us to pave the way for a zero-waste future, in CPG. Our customers are increasingly looking for plastic alternatives and understandably so. Ocean plastic is a huge issue with predictions that there could be more plastic than fish in our oceans by 2050 if we don’t change to a circular economy.”

"We're honored to receive an Ocean Hero Award from a company like Footprint," said Kevin Quandt, VP of supply chain & sustainability at sweetgreen."Our mission is to connect people to real food and we're on a constant journey to ensure that what we eat, where it comes from, how it's prepared and how it's packaged have a positive impact on the world around us."

“To truly rid the world’s oceans of plastic, we must approach the problem from several angles. At The Ocean Cleanup, we believe that technology is a powerful solution for a problem at this scale, which is why we have developed our ocean cleanup and river Interceptor systems to remove pollution at the source (rivers) and from the ocean garbage patches,” said Boyan Slat, founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup. “Because plastic pollution is a global concern, it does require collective action from many sectors, so we are happy to see Footprint and the other Ocean Hero Award winners doing their part to tackle this problem.”

Dulma Clark, head of Livebarefoot Foundation at Vivobarefoot said, “We are committed to continuously investing in disruptive regenerative materials to create footwear that reconnect people with nature. We are deeply grateful to our Vivobarefoot team for joining us on the journey of building a world with less padding and more feeling.”

As plastic debris continues to pollute our oceans, the list of impacted birds, sea turtles, and other marine life continues to grow. The debris largely comes from the 91% of plastic that isn’t recycled1, much of which ends up in the environment as litter. Oceana estimates that annually 17.6 billion pounds of plastic waste are leaking into the marine environment from land-based sources - roughly equating to "dumping a garbage truck full of plastic into the oceans every minute." In addition to the ocean, roughly 107,000 to 730,000 tons2 of microplastics are dumped onto agricultural soils in the U.S. and Europe, which ultimately work through the environment and circle the globe’s waterways.

Footprint has already prevented over 61 million metric tons of plastics from entering the ecosystem by the development and manufacturing of sustainable technologies that do not harm the environment or our food supplies. For more information about Footprint, visit

About Footprint 

Footprint has a clear vision: eliminate single-use and short-term use plastics. Footprint designs, develops and manufactures technologies that are biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable. We make it easy for companies to switch out of plastic to preserve our future. We love our oceans and our planet, that’s why we are revolutionizing industries to eliminate plastic pollution. The company was founded by former Intel engineers Troy Swope and Yoke Chung and employs more than 1,200 people. In 2019, Footprint was announced a winner of the prestigious NextGen Cup Challenge for its Plant-based alternative manufacturing process for making cups and lids. Footprint was also named to the 2020 Fortune “Change the World” list. Footprint has already helped eliminate over 61 million pounds of plastic. The company is based in Gilbert, Ariz. For more information and a complete portfolio of Footprint solutions visit

1. “A whopping 91% of plastic isn't recycled,” National Geographic (Dec 2018)
2. “Microplastics in farm soils: A growing concern,” Environmental Health News (Aug 2020)