Hubbub is delighted to announce the launch of Poly-Mer – the world’s first recycled plastic punt. The boat will be used to run plastic fishing trips in the waters around London’s Docklands. The collected plastics will be used to make more boats creating a growing flotilla that will help clean our waterways.

The boat has been constructed using the skills and resources of a wide range of organisations within the UK. Plastic bottles were collected at the London Ride event with support from Buxton Water. The bottles were taken to the Plaswood site in Scotland where they were mixed with plastic agricultural waste and turned into plastic sheets and lumber.

The challenge of turning these heavy planks into something that would carry twelve people and float was given to master boatbuilder Mark Edwards MBE who built the Royal Barge Gloriana. For two months his boathouse in Richmond London, usually used to make traditional wooden boats, became the place that Poly-Mer took shape. Mark was committed to ensuring the boat was as sustainable as possible and so it is powered by an electric solar engine. Funding for the boat came from a variety of sources including Sky as part of their #OceanRescue campaign.

The idea for the boat came from Canary Wharf College. The Head Teacher was determined that students should get involved in activities that built their connection to nature. They decided to embark on some plastic fishing trips in the waters around their school. These proved highly educational, very popular and managed to extract a shocking amount of rubbish from the water.

Keen to take the campaign further the school approached Hubbub for help. We wondered whether the plastic fishing trips could also be used for team-building exercises for businesses and managed to persuade the sustainability team at PWC to be the first to take the plunge. Fortunately, nobody got soaked and the feedback was highly positive.

Encouraged by these results Hubbub embarked on creating the complex collaboration that has led to the creation of Poly-Mer. Our ambition is to use the boat to offer plastic fishing trips to London schools and businesses as part of their corporate volunteering offer. Any funding generated from the companies will be used to subsidise school trips.

The building of the boat has a set of wider messages that Hubbub is eager to communicate. First, we want to demonstrate that waste plastic does have a value and can be used to create a range of products. We have shown that recycling the plastic can be done within the UK benefitting the economy and minimising environmental impact.

The use of the boat on plastic fishing trips cleans up the waterways whilst at the same time showing people first-hand the scale and impact of plastic litter in the water. We hope that this will raise awareness and change behaviour. Eventually, we would like to build more recycled plastic boats and offer plastic fishing trips in major cities across the UK.

If you would like to partner us in achieving this ambition please get in touch.

Watch this video to hear Trewin further explain the vision behind building a recycled plastic boat: