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Auckland teens create their own reusable coffee cups to help protect the ocean

A group of Auckland teenagers are thrilled their reusable coffee cup design might be sold in supermarkets next year.

A group of Auckland teenagers have created their own reusable coffee cups, to help raise money for ocean conservation. Source: Supplied

Brianna Marvin, Hollie Craig, Chloe Laurence and Phoebe Meachen created the cups as part of the SEA LIFE Trust Ocean Youth programme at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's, for teenagers with a keen interest in ocean conservation and sustainability.

They were drafted to come up with their own project, researching and developing It over the course of the year.

"We knew from the start that we wanted to make a difference by donating to an organisation with the platform and the resources to actively make a change," Phoebe tells 1 NEWS.

After designing their logo, they went to Kiwi company Ideal Cup and the reusable coffee cups were born.

The proceeds are going to ocean conservation group Project Blue, something Phoebe says "wasn't even a question".

"We knew that helping to create a sustainable alternative to coffee cups was just one small difference being made, and by donating the profits from the cups we could help with further change with a wider effect," she says.

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Massey University says rising sea temperatures could see tropical marine life become more common off our coastlines. Source: 1 NEWS

At some points the girls found themselves spread pretty thin, between their schoolwork and Kaitiaki, Brianna says.

None of them had any experience with running a business and dealing with finances, finding it a "massive learning curve".

"At times it was hard to find the balance of wanting to work really hard on Kaitiaki, but still achieving well at school," Brianna says.

"Even with all the little road bumps along the way we've somehow managed to come up with a plan and make something out of it every time."

The cups have already sold out online and they've had interest from a café and a supermarket for bulk orders.

"I knew we would do well, but I didn't really see that coming so early on!" Holly says.

"It's so exciting to see our work has gone that far and is doing this well, especially since we're all still teenagers."

Ocean Youth organiser Emma Ferguson says there's been fantastic interest in the programme this year and they're thrilled by how many youth are keen to get involved.

"This program was started because our oceans need a change in human behaviour and thinking in order to save them," she told 1 NEWS.

"We believe that this change will come from the youth of today; young, passionate people given skills, confidence and the right platform will be the ones to turn the tide on ocean health."

The girls say they're just getting started and have some big plans for Kaitiaki for the future.