Hubbub launches second waste-cleaning boat made from recycled plastics

Environmental charity Hubbub has launched its second waste-cleaning boat made from recycled plastic today (30 August), with funding jointly provided by Tideway and Starbuck’s 5p paper cup surcharge.

The 12-seater punt, named PET Project, is made from ‘Plaswood’, a material which consists of 100% recycled plastic waste. Funded equally by Starbucks’ “latte levy” and Tideway, which is building the Thames Tideway Tunnel, the vessel will be used for ‘plastic fishing’ trips to remove litter from the Docks.

Once the litter is removed from the Thames, the recyclable plastic items will be sent to Scotland to be recycled into Plaswood, which will then be used to build similar boats across the UK.

The boat is Hubbub’s second, after the charity last year launched a similar vessel from London’s Canary Wharf Docks. As of July 2018, the first boat had completed 36 trips to clear litter from the area, including more than 800 plastic bottles, in partnership with local schools and businesses.

“With this second boat made from 99% recycled plastic waste, we not only want to keep the issue of plastic pollution at the front of people’s mind, but equally demonstrate that plastic has a value and can be turned into something useful,” Hubbub’s director Gavin Ellis said.

“Our hope is to demonstrate what is possible and inspire other parts of the UK with waterways, canals and rivers to follow suit.”

Gone (plastic) fishing

PET Project was made by boat builder Mark Edwards MBE, who previously constructed the Queen’s barge, Gloriana. It is constructed using more than one tonne of plastic waste from the Thames, which was collected by Tideway volunteers over the past ten months.

Tideway’s head of environmental sustainability Darren White said it was “hugely rewarding” to take action to clean London’s waterways before the super sewer project is completed.

“As an environmentally conscious organisation with a vision for a cleaner River Thames, Tideway teams across the project have been collecting vast amounts of plastic waste directly from the river, with the aim of recycling this back into products with social and economic value,” White said.

The PET Project follows a similar innovation from carpet tile manufacturer Interface, which has designed and created a unique boat made from more than 7,000 plastic bottles fished from the canals of Amsterdam.

Sarah George

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