Marine plastic project sets sail on a carbon-free voyage for Exmouth to shine the spotlight on recycling

Plastic washed up from around the coastline is being sailed up the Exe Estuary to Exmouth in a first-of-its-kind carbon-free journey to raise awareness of recycling.

The 112-year-old schooner, The Annette, is set to dock at Exmouth Marina on Wednesday, September 30, with more than one tonne of marine plastics onboard.

The cargo will be sorted in Exeter then sent off for recycling, where some of the plastic will be made into sea kayaks.

The boat, belonging to Clean Ocean Sailing, is currently en-route from Gweek, in Cornwall, and will stop and perform more clean-ups on the way to Exmouth.

The plastics collected from beaches and rivers by Clean Ocean Sailing will be taken to Exeter’s materials reclamation facility in Marsh Barton as part of the Ocean Recovery Project, a partnership between Exeter City Council, Keep Britain Tidy and South West Water.

This week the project was shortlisted for the letsrecycle.com 2020 awards for excellence in recycling and waste management, in the best local authority’s recycling initiative of the year category.

Cllr David Harvey, Exeter City Council lead councillor for environment and city management, said Exeter was ‘proud’ to be playing its part in a project to protect the planet and keep beaches in the South West plastic free.

He said: “The journey up from Cornwall is entirely by wind-power and therefore carbon-free, fitting perfectly with our own agenda to become carbon neutral by 2030.

“The Ocean Recovery Project is a fantastic initiative and it’s no surprise to me that it has been short-listed for a national award. I’m proud of the central role that Exeter and the City Council is playing with this initiative.”

The marine plastics collected from the South West will be sorted and sent off to be recycled.

Some of the plastics will be turned into ocean kayaks by Odyssey Innovation.

Neil Hembrow, from Keep Britain Tidy, said: “We are pleased that people’s efforts cleaning our South West beaches are being empowered by the most sustainable of journeys.

“In a world being affected by climate change, it’s important that materials are recycled with the lowest carbon footprint possible.

“We thank Clean Ocean Sailing for navigating the English Channel to bring us this beach plastic.”

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