A new 12 seater punt made from 99% recycled plastic will go on tour between April and June taking people out on ‘plastic fishing’ trips to raise awareness of the growing levels of plastic pollution in our rivers and canals and to encourage more people to recycle plastic. The plastics collected will then be recycled into more punts to build a litter-busting fleet across the UK giving a great example of the circular economy in action.

The Plastic Fishing Tour will see the punt used for a week in each of Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester and across central Scotland. In each location Hubbub is partnering with local organisations and volunteers, who nominated their area to take part in the Plastic Fishing Tour as part of a competition to raise awareness on the issue of plastic pollution across UK waterways. One of the four areas will ultimately be chosen to keep the punt on a permanent basis.

The punt has been built and the tour arranged using funds collected from Starbucks’ 5p charge on drinks purchased in a paper cup across its 950 stores nationwide. It’s only the third punt of its kind in the world and the first to launch outside of London.

The craftsman tasked with building the punt was expert punt-builder Mark Edwards MBE, who also built the Queen’s barge ‘Gloriana’. The design is based on a traditional punt, but it’s made from the most modern of materials - Plaswood, a hardwearing alternative to wood that is made entirely from recycled single-use plastic - and it’s powered by a rechargeable electric motor making it the most sustainable of punts.

Plastic Fishing was inspired by a project in Amsterdam called Plastic Whale, which combines sightseeing with cleaning the city’s canals. The idea was brought to the UK by parents and teachers at Canary Wharf College who proved they could clean up the docks, collect valuable plastics and inspire the next generation to take care of the environment too. Hubbub worked with the College to fund and build the Poly Mer – the world's first recycled plastic punt -which has taken students and businesses Plastic Fishing around London’s Docklands. A second punt has been built and will run similar trips around Richmond in West London, over the Summer.

The third punt will see the first expansion of Plastic Fishing outside London and follow’s Hubbub’s model of creating new ways to involve a mainstream audience in environmental campaigns and to freely give away those approaches that are most successful.To find out more about the Plastic Fishing Tour and how you can get involved click here.