Sail­ing the docks on a plas­tic ves­sel

The Wharf - - News - Laura En­field For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact plas­tic­fish­ing@hub­bub.org.uk

The world’s first re­cy­cled plas­tic boat has been launched on the Isle Of Dogs. School­child­ren from Ca­nary Wharf Col­lege were the will­ing guinea pigs for the maiden voy­age of Poly-mer, a 12-seat punt.

She sailed into the un­charted waters of Mill­wall Outer Dock from Dock­lands Sail­ing And Waters­ports Cen­tre with the pas­sen­gers scoop­ing plas­tic rub­bish aboard.

The waste will be used to build more boats, cre­at­ing a lit­ter­bust­ing fleet to be de­ployed across the UK.

Ca­nary Wharf Col­lege ex­ec­u­tive prin­ci­pal Sarah Counter said: “When our pupils learn to sail on Mill­wall Dock they are shocked by the huge amount of plas­tic they see float­ing in the wa­ter.

“In spring they see birds lay­ing their eggs in nests made of plas­tic.

“We are thrilled that more of them now will be able to go out to­gether on this brilliant boat made from re­cy­cled plas­tic.”

En­vi­ron­men­tal char­ity Hub­bub is be­hind the project. Chief ex­ec­u­tive and co-founder Trewin Restorick said: “80% of ocean plas­tic comes from land and trav­els from our hand to storm drain, river or seas.

“We built the Poly-Mer to turn part of the prob­lem into a so­lu­tion.”

The ves­sel was built by cre­ator of the Queen’s barge Glo­ri­ana Mark Ed­wards MBE, who said it was one of his most de­mand­ing chal­lenges to date. He used Plas­wood, a hy­brid of plas­tic and wood, held to­gether by clenched cop­per nails in­vented two thou­sand years ago by the Vik­ings.

Poly-mer launched on Thurs­day, Novem­ber 2, with medal-win­ning Bri­tish Par­a­lympic sailor Alexan­dra Rick­ham and en­vi­ron­ment min­is­ter Thérèse Cof­fey join­ing the school­child­ren on board.

The MP said: “This is an ex­cel­lent and cre­ative so­lu­tion that demon­strates the dam­ag­ing ef­fect lit­ter­ing and plas­tics can have on our en­vi­ron­ment and wildlife.”

The boat will con­tinue to be used by the Col­lege’s pupils and will be ac­ces­si­ble to mem­bers of the pub­lic and busi­nesses in­ter­ested in tak­ing part in plas­tic fish­ing trips.

Pupils at Ca­nary Wharf Col­lege show off the rub­bish they helped clean up us­ing Poly-mer

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