Reusing ocean waste

Ocean waste becomes beach-cleaning equipment in the ‘biggest breakthrough in beach cleaning in 15 years’

Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

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Published: 5 February 2021

This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod

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The 2 Minute foundation has released images of its latest innovation, dubbed ‘The biggest breakthrough in beach cleaning in 15 years’ by the Foundation’s CEO, Martin Dorey.

The charity, which is dedicated to cleaning up the planet, two minutes at a time, worked with Yorkshire-based ReWorked to create a litter-picking station made entirely out of collected ocean plastic.

The solution enables marine litter to become something positive, rather than going to landfill or polluting waterways and natural habitats.

Recycling ocean plastic

A massive issue with beach and ocean waste is that it’s often partly degraded or covered in bio-waste or dirt.

This, combined with the mixture of materials, poses a problem. Much of the collected waste was going to landfill and considered non-recyclable, which didn’t fit well with the #2MinuteBeachClean ethos.

ReWorked – which takes hard-to-recycle waste or recycled materials and re-introduces them back into the supply chain – offered a solution to the issues.

Recycled plastic boards

Using intricate cleaning techniques, Reworked removes residues and environmental waste from the plastics. This waste is then shredded into 5mm pieces and balanced to an exact (secret) recipe.

The blend often contains waste plastic collected from manufacturing waste streams, canal cleans and take-back schemes.

The shredded plastic mix is layered into a board making mill, heated to above 200C and pressed into plastic boards. The boards go on to become the iconic new #2MinuteBeachClean litter-picking stations.

Diverted from landfill

This is a great example of a closed-loop process in action, doing good for the planet in more ways than one and diverting tonnes of ocean plastic away from landfill.

The prototypes have been approved; ReWorked will take 3 tonnes of ocean waste collected by the charity to create the first 100 beach-cleaning stations.

ReWorked boards made from ocean waste

Next steps for the project are to find sponsors to help roll out the stations across the UK and beyond, and sourcing green transport to move the marine litter to the processor.

Of course, there’s always a need for more volunteer beach cleaners to gather marine plastic – and if the volunteers can help to store it as well, that’s even better!

Contact nicky@2minute.org if you can help them out in any way.

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