Engaging different audiences towards a global cleanup

  • Climate Tech
  • Brand design
  • Digital experiences


How do you keep people engaged once the initial buzz has worn off? Almost everyone knows about The Ocean Cleanup and their ambitious mission to remove 90% of all floating waste from the oceans by 2040. To achieve this goal, it is essential to involve various target groups in the project and ensure that attention to the mission is maintained until the goal is met. As a design partner, Norday helps The Ocean Cleanup keep the global community engaged with innovative digital products.


We developed a website that serves as both a powerful business platform, raising over €35 million, and an effective tool for the broader community. The website needed to engage multiple target groups, from donors to specialists. To achieve this, we built dashboards that visually present complex data in an attractive and understandable way. This allows the public to follow the progress of the cleanup operations in real-time, creating a sense of transparency and involvement. We also created research pages that encourage specialists to contribute their skills to the mission. Additionally, we built a robust technical infrastructure capable of handling media attention without slowing down the website or increasing CO2 emissions, ensuring an always accessible message, even during major events and launches. The website has won various awards, including Webby Awards and European Design Awards.

What we did

Digital strategy, future vision, visual identity, development, interaction design


+35 MLN
by investors


  • Webby Awards
  • EDA Award
  • Dutch Design Awards
  • Lovie Award
  • Dutch Interactive Award

You probably know the story of The Ocean Cleanup. They have an ambitious mission: rid the world’s oceans of plastic. In 2012, Boyan Slat presented his first solutions at a TEDx talk. The Ocean Cleanup has now developed groundbreaking technologies and more than 2 million kg of waste (as at the beginning of 2023) has been removed from rivers and the ocean. And The Ocean Cleanup has engaged a global community of changemakers together with Norday.

But that’s just the beginning. The Ocean Cleanup aims to remove 90% of all floating trash from the oceans by 2040. As a design partner, we support them in scaling up by developing innovative digital products. This allows them to keep their huge community continuously involved and active.

Facilitated the growth of The Ocean Cleanup since 2016

The Ocean Cleanup operates like a tech startup, and that is accompanied by energy and speed. As partner in design, tech, and strategy, we have been responsible since 2016 for almost all areas that digital design is involved:

  • We developed their website, which is the fundament of their business and won many prizes → ao Webby and European Design Awards
  • New digital products such as the dashboard with which we can create interactive stories to involve investors → millions has already been collected with the digital services.
  • Branding that looks professional and reliable and leaves room for the impressive stories of The Ocean Cleanup.
  • Employer Branding → Expanding the team to 130 high skilled technical people, at a time when they are hard to find.
  • Marketing strategy and deployment of our network for selling sunglasses from ocean plastic to consumers → The first batch was sold out within a year, with that money a part of the ocean can be cleared up the size of half a million football fields.
  • Successful launches with global coverage → such as CNN, Oprah Winfrey

Scale-up comes with new challenges

On an increasingly larger scale, The Ocean Cleanup is now working on cleaning up the oceans and rivers. More and more Ocean Systems and Interceptors – the new technologies they have specially developed for this – are active in more and more areas.

To support this growth and to be ready for the future, there is again a hefty challenge: where we first had to attract different stakeholders, it is now important to see how we can hold the attention of the public. And that is not that simple yet. Compare it with the lunar landing. The first lunar landing was impressive, but how do you ensure that people still look en masse the 20th time? Especially now that they  have entered a scale-up phase in which new products and innovations are no longer constantly being launched.

Nevertheless, keeping a global audience involved is essential to be able to the work of The Ocean Cleanup. Both to be able to recruit the smartest staff and to continue to expand the number of sponsors, donors and investors. It is therefore important that scientists and the media pay attention to their work. And to arouse that interest, the support of many involved public and organizations is extremely important.

Keep worldwide community involved in the long term

The website we developed for them plays a central role in involving and attracting the various target groups. This works on several levels:

  • Fans worldwide will find the latest news about the cleaning here and can donate money in an accessible way
  • Large investors gain insight into the results that are being achieved
  • Experts are stimulated to contribute with their skills
  • Other stakeholders can help collect data about the plastic pollution through Citizen Science

With infographics, videos and interactive maps, we ensure that the core of scientific research, knowledge and approach is easily digestible for a wide audience. In recent years, we have developed, among other things, these digital products with which we make the complex information about cleaning clear and fascinating:

  • Ocean Cleanup Club: where you as a donor follow the impact of your donations.
  • We make complex matter accessible with the Plastic Tracker: in which you see which trip makes a piece of virtual waste when it ends up in the water near you.
  • On the River Plastic Pollution Sources Dashboard we visualize which rivers are responsible for 80% of the plastic emissions in the oceans. It becomes crystal clear why an important focus of The Ocean Cleanup is now on cleaning up the rivers.
  • On the Dashboard you can see in real time where and how many Ocean Systems and Interceptors are active and how much plastic they have already collected. This way it becomes transparent how the mission is carried out and where the systems have the most impact.

Thanks to these kinds of smart digital products, the site was awarded in 2021 with two prestigious Webby Awards.

An elegant and durable technical setup

As The Ocean Cleanup’s main means of communication, it is important that the website is always online. Especially at special moments such as the launch of new technologies which are being followed by people around the world.

For example, during the launch of The Interceptor in 2019 the website became a real-time data dashboard. All the different types of content are supported by a solid technical base that can handle the peaks in global media attention, while the setup also ensures low CO2 emissions.

→ You can find more about the ingenious tech architecture behind this in this tech blog.

We are very proud to be connected to the pioneers of The Ocean Cleanup from the start. And to develop creative and effective and digital products for every growth phase.
Rolf CoppensCreative Director, Norday


We developed the visual identity together with Hoax and Friends for Brands. We did not take any photos of test balloons and test sets ourselves. Erwin Zwart made the animations and simulations (‘artist impressions’), the videos of the North Sea test by Boskalis and the Ministry of I&M (infrastructure and environment). All other videos are made by The Ocean Cleanup.

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Rolf Coppens

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