Paddle for Plastic

GGGI participant Fathoms Free has recently announced their latest campaign: Paddle for Plastic. Driven by the amount of consumer plastic they see on local beaches in Cornwall, UK, Fathoms Free aims to encourage a practical solution to the problem of marine plastics. The ambitious initiative consists of two parts: the first one is to engage the paddling community, who can access areas inaccessible to beach cleaners and divers, to pick up marine litter they encounter and share their stories on the campaign’s Facebook page. Paddlers are also encouraged to report marine litter spotted in an inaccessible areas, so that it can be retrieved by other means, such as Fathoms Free’s RHIB Casper, sponsored by World Animal Protection UK. The second part involves recycling plastic found in Fathoms Free’s clean-ups and turning it into kayaks, making it a great circular economy story.

This project has been a labour of love for Fathoms Free for over two years, having partnered with Keep Britain Tidy to develop a circular economic business model for this initiative. Plastic material, including ghost gear, recovered by Fathoms Free has been sent to be recycled and turned into plastic pellets, which is then used to create new products. In this case, Fathoms Free has now successfully produced a body board and are in the final stages of creating a prototype sit-on-top kayak.

The business model is based on the principle of diverting profits back into funding conservation activities within Fathoms Free and the greater community. Various other potential partners include National Trust and Cornwall Wildlife Trust, who have expressed interest in using these kayaks in their own activities.

This initiative was recently awarded second place at the Cornwall Sustainability Awards.

Get involved by following Fathoms Free’s on Social Media:


Twitter: @FathomsFree


Tag Fathoms Free in your posts: #PaddleForPlastic #P4P  @FathomsFreePaddleforPlastic