Hubbub to launch third waste-cleaning boat as part of UK 'plastic fishing' tour

Environmental charity Hubbub has unveiled plans to launch its third waste-cleaning boat made from recycled plastic, after partnering with media giant Mirror Group to launch a nationwide "plastic fishing" tour.

Hubbub's flagship waste-cleaning boat, Poly-mer, has taken more than 1,000 people on plastic fishing trips since November 2017

Hubbub's flagship waste-cleaning boat, Poly-mer, has taken more than 1,000 people on plastic fishing trips since November 2017

Under the partnership, Hubbub will build its third punt made from ‘plaswood’ – a material which consists of 99% recycled plastic waste – with an aim that the vessel will be used to collect waste from local waterways and rivers.

Once the boat is made, it will be taken on a tour across the UK and made available to community groups, schools and businesses across four cities for free.

During each stage of the tour, children, volunteers and employees will be offered “plastic fishing” trips, where they will remove plastic waste from the water and send it to be recycled at UK-based waste management facilities.

The cities which will be visited on the tour are yet to be determined and will be chosen by a panel of judges at Hubbub, with Mirror Group encouraging its readers to send in photographs highlighting the impact of plastic on their local waterways as a means of entering the competition.

Hubbub founder and chief executive Trewin Restorick said the tour will “encapsulate Hubbub’s model of working”, providing education and information which should foster behaviour change among businesses and the general public.

“The Plastic Fishing Tour will raise awareness and highlight that it is possible to recycle plastic within the UK, turning it into durable, useful products,” Restorick wrote in a blog post.

“It will also show that if plastic escapes into the natural environment it is highly damaging. The message will be reinforced with free curriculum-linked education resources available for interested schools.”

Businesses, schools and community groups who want to apply for the boat to come to their local area are being encouraged to do so via an online form.

Gone (plastic) fishing

The announcement from Hubbub comes a year after it launched its first waste-cleaning boat made from plastics in London, in a drive to promote public awareness around the fact that 80% of ocean plastic originates from land-based sources.  

Since then, the boat, called Poly-Mer, has taken more than 1,000 people plastic fishing around the Docklands area. In total, these trips have led to the 1,250 plastic bottles being captured and recycled.

The success of the first boat saw Hubbub secure funding from Tideway and Starbucks to build and operate a second vessel, which launched on the Thames this summer. Funded equally by an investment from Tideway and Starbucks’ 5p paper cup charge, the boat, called PET Project, was launched by Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Thérèse Coffee in August.

Each of Hubbub’s three boats is constructed using more than one tonne of plastic waste from the Thames and made by boat builder Mark Edwards MBE, who previously constructed the Queen’s barge, Gloriana. 

Sarah George


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