Sustainability

Locations chosen for Hubbub’s plastic fishing tour

Behaviour change charity Hubbub’s new boat made from 99 per cent recycled plastic is set to tour four UK cities between April and June, raising awareness of growing levels of plastic pollution in the country’s waterways and encouraging people to recycle more.

The Plastic Fishing Tour will see the new 12-seater punt used for a week in each of Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester and across central Scotland after volunteers and local organisations nominated these areas to take part in the tour.

Locations chosen for Hubbub’s plastic fishing tour
Hubbub's first plastic boat, the 'Poly-Mer'
The boat will be the third of its kind, following the construction of the ‘Poly-Mer’ in November 2017 and the ‘PET Project’ in August 2018, which were built by expert boat builder Mark Edwards MBE using ‘Plaswood’, a modern material produced by Scottish plastics recycler BPI Recycled Products that can be used as a substitute for wood but consists of 100 per cent recycled single-use plastic.

The plastic used to make the new boat has been collected during plastic fishing trips in the first two boats on the Thames and around London’s Docklands. The third punt will be the first expansion of Hubbub’s plastic fishing fleet outside of London, with one of the four areas set to host the Plastic Fishing Tour ultimately being chosen to keep the punt on a permanent basis.

Both the third punt and the Plastic Fishing Tour are being funded by the proceeds gained through the Starbucks five pence charge on drinks purchased in a single-use cup, which is in place across all of its 950 outlets in the UK.

The idea for ‘plastic fishing’ came from a project in Amsterdam called ‘Plastic Whale’, which combines sightseeing with cleaning the city’s canals. The idea was replicated in the UK by parents and teachers at Canary Wharf College determined to clean up the docks while teaching the next generation to take care of the environment. Hubbub worked with the College to create the ‘Poly-Mer’, which has collected 156 kilogrammes (kg) of recyclable waste plastic and 1,484 plastic bottles, with 470 people from schools and businesses taking part.

Locations chosen for Hubbub’s plastic fishing tourCommenting on the new boat and the Plastic Fishing Tour, Hubbub CEO Trewin Restorick, said: “The first recycled plastic boat – the Poly-Mer – have been operating in London’s Docklands for just over a year and during that time has taken over 1,000 people plastic fishing from 11 primary schools and 26 businesses. Together they have collected 1,484 plastic bottles and 156kg of recycled plastic. The success of this first boat led us to build another which will be operating along the River Thames from Richmond.

“We are now on a mission to take Plastic Fishing outside London and are delighted that groups in Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester and Scotland have been willing to partner with us on this venture. The new boat – which will be named via social media – will spend a week at each location taking children, employees and other members of the community on Plastic Fishing trips.

“Our aim is to demonstrate that when recycled, plastic can be made into fantastic new products such as the boat – but when it escapes into the natural environment it has a highly detrimental impact. At the end of the tour one of the groups will get to keep the boat creating a long-term legacy by helping them to clean their waterways of plastic, run educational trips and generate income.”

The new boat will tour the four winning locations over the following dates:

  • Manchester: 25 April to 2 May
  • Central Scotland: 6 May to 10 May
  • Bristol: 20 May to 29 May
  • Birmingham: 3 June to 10 June

Hubbub is seeking suggestions for a punny name for the new boat – you can take a punt by tweeting your name suggestion to @HubbubUK using #NotBoatFace by 5 April 2019. The winner will be invited to join at one of the four locations during the tour.

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