Stand up and help remove plastic from our oceans
19 April 2017 - 8:24am
WDC are proud to announce our new partnership with The Whale Company, a long term supporter of WDC based in Bedfordshire, but currently in Brazil! We were delighted to hear from Carolyn, founder of The Whale Company and their new challenge to tackle plastic pollution.
As we walked onto Prainha Beach, in Caraguatatuba, Brazil with our new paddle board under our arms, heads turned to stare in wonder and fascination. I am not sure what reaction we were expecting, but from the whispers and curious glances there was no doubt that we were creating a buzz. Our paddle board was no ordinary board; Carlos and I had spent the previous week building it out of 124 plastic bottles. It was quite a challenge and I was a little nervous about taking it out on the water. Carlos, however, had no such trepidation; he lowered the plastic bottle board into the gentle waves and jumped on enthusiastically. I had to run behind him with the camera to make sure we captured the special moment, as he paddled quickly into the distance.
Even without a fin, the board was stable and incredibly easy to manoeuver. Local stand-up paddleboard (SUP) instructors came over to have a go and before long a little crowd had gathered around us. Bewilderment turned to appreciation as we discussed why we had built a board out of plastic bottles – to raise awareness of the problems of plastic pollution in the ocean and the fact that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish (World Economic Forum, 2016). Although plastic can be recycled, only 24% of the 5 million tonnes of plastic used in the UK every year is recycled or re-used (#Oneless); and 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the ocean every year (National Geographic, 2015).
I created The Whale Company after discovering that plastic pollution in the ocean was killing whales and other marine wildlife. Our organic cotton Whalebags are beautiful and practical alternatives to plastic bags (and they make great beach/travel bags too). We also make flip-flops out of recycled tyres – Whaletreads. I am delighted with our new partnership with WDC – we are donating 10p from every bag to WDC. Follow the link to the bags here and get 10% off with code 'WDC2017'.
The success of our first plastic bottle board outing has become the inspiration for our next big challenge. Launching on 8 June, World Ocean's Day, Carlos and I will paddle 12 marathons across Europe on paddle boards made out of plastic bottles and in every location we will teach the local community how to build a plastic bottle board, taking 120 bottles out of the environment every time.
Help the Whale Company raise awareness of plastic pollution in the ocean and show people that SUP can be affordable for all. If you are interested in finding out more about Carolyn and Carlos' expedition and how you can get involved, please go to www.thewhalecompany.co.uk/plastic-bottle-sup-marathon.
WDC is grateful to our guest bloggers and value their contributions to whale conservation. The views and opinions expressed by our guest bloggers are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of, and should not be attributed to, WDC.