Rob Thompson (Great Britain) with the Odyssey Innovation - Nominee for the 2018 Foundation Award

Odyssey Innovation - an initiative developed by Rob Thompson to recycle marine plastic into kayaks and other products - is using plastic to clean up the sea. Rob and his colleagues effectively make kayaks from recycled material and distribute them to community groups, so that volunteers can collect more garbage from the sea.

The concept for recycling marine plastic into kayaks and other products came from a need to resolve three recurring obstacles encountered while conducting ocean clean-up activities. These were: how to access the inaccessible coves, estuaries and other areas not frequented by the regular beach cleaners; how to dispose of the plastic we generated through our clean-up operations; and how to fund the running costs of doing this. To resolve this, Rob came up with an ambitious plan to combine elements of all three problems and by using the circular economy, turn them into the solution.

In January 2018, Rob approached Palm Equipment, a UK based leading kayak manufacturer, with a recycled material suitable for roto moulding. Within a matter of days, the worlds first prototype marine plastic recycled kayak was produced. Six more prototype kayaks have now been created of varying styles, which are currently being used for campaigns throughout Europe to retrieve and raise awareness about marine plastic.

Rob’s innovative initiative has to date garnered a number of prestigious awards including the Prime Minister’s Points of Light Award, which he received June 8, 2018 on World Oceans Day.

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10 May 2018

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