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Wednesday, 13 December 2017 13:06

Boat made from a tonne of waste plastic used on London 'plastic fishing' trips

Hubbub Foundation UK, the charity creators of ‘Poly-Mer’ – the world’s first boat made from 99% recycled plastic waste - has been given £77,250 to take children on educational 'plastic fishing' trips in the River Thames docks near Canary Wharf to make more pollution-busting boats. Poly-Mer was launched at the Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre in London to raise awareness of the growing levels of plastic pollution in Britain’s waterways.

The City of London Corporation's charitable funder and London's largest independent grant giver, City Bridge Trust, awarded the money to combat the increasing amount of littered plastic found in the River Thames. The recyclable material collected will be used to build more boats, creating a litter-busting fleet that can be deployed across the UK.

HUBBUB PLASTIC FISHING‘Poly-Mer’ is a 12-seater punt – a type of boat designed over a thousand years ago - but uses the most modern of materials - recycled single-use plastic, or ‘Plaswood’. ‘Plaswood’ is manufactured from 100% recycled plastics and is a hybrid composite material, which combines plastic and wood, making it very cost-effective. This is the first time it has been used for this purpose and the build was supported by Sky Ocean Rescue .  The boat was built by Mark Edwards MBE, a Richmond-based boat builder who previously built the Queen’s barge, ‘Gloriana’.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey MP boarded the boat for its maiden voyage, along with school children from nearby Canary Wharf College (CWC).

The children were first involved in fishing plastic litter from the docks earlier this year after seeing the issue for themselves first hand.  CWC parent Christine Armstrong wanted to bring the circular economy to life in a practical way and got a group of parents and their children out one weekend to try it on the Docks. The children loved collecting rubbish to make something as useful as a boat while also cleaning up the waterways and being cheered on by locals passing by.

Following the launch, the boat will continue to be used by the children of the Canary Wharf College and will be accessible to members of the public and businesses interested in taking part in ‘plastic fishing’ trips.