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Recycled plastic boat tackles river Thames waste

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on August 30, 2018 - Duration: 01:50s

Recycled plastic boat tackles river Thames waste

A boat made out of recycled plastic was launched on London's river Thames as part of a mission to tackle plastic pollution in Britain's waterways.

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Recycled plastic boat tackles river Thames waste

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: A boat made out of recycled plastic was launched on London's river Thames on Thursday (August 30), as part of a mission to tackle plastic pollution in Britain's waterways.

PET Project, a 12-seater punt made out of 99 percent plastic waste, will take passengers on "fishing" trips to collect trash and raise awareness of the issue.

The boat, by environmental charity Hubbub, is only the second of its kind.

It's equally funded by the Starbucks 5p paper cup charge and Tideway, which is building the city's Thames tideway tunnel.

PET Project's predecessor, Poly-Mer, was launched in November last year and has been used to collect 95 kg of recyclable plastic so far, including 762 plastic bottles, according to the organization.

Speaking as PET Project made its maiden plastic fishing trip, Hubbub director and co-founder Gavin Ellis said: "It shows that it's not just an issue that's in faraway oceans, it's not just the Pacific, Indian Ocean, actually this is an issue that's present here in London and in the UK, but actually there's lots we can all do about it." He added that the collected plastic would go towards creating similar boats.

The vessel is made primarily from Plaswood, a recycled plastic material that is used as a substitute for wood.

Boat builder Mark Edwards MBE said the "laborious" process took two men and six weeks - but that it was "nothing" for a craft that would last 100 years.

Retired British rower and triple Olympic Gold medalist Andrew Triggs Hodge, who is also a program manager at Tideway, was among the first to embark on PET Project's plastic fishing trip, and said he was "proud" to have collected two bottles.

Local Girl Guides Charis, 16, and Imogen, 14, also took the plunge.

"It was just amazing how much plastic we found in such a small space of the river and in such a short time so it's really worthwhile to just go out there and collect it," Charis said.

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