Collected plastic from Westward Ho! beach, Torridge will be used to manufacture buckets and spades.
Plastic Free Torridge has announced the initiative to organise a number of beach cleans to using collected marine and beach plastic to provide raw materials to manufacture beach toys. The “Beach Cleans for Beach Toys” will start in May and continue until the end of July.
Collected plastic will be washed and sorted before being made into toys. Designs for spades, buckets and lids have been approved and it is hoped a wider range can be developed.
The inventor behind the idea, Callum Wardle, said: “The idea of using discarded beach plastic to make beach toys is very exciting”
“The concept was born out of my Final Major Design project at University. It makes no sense to use a finite material like oil to make plastic for beach toys when so much plastic is found on our beaches every day.”
“I am very to announce the launch of the Beach Cleans for Beach Toys initiative, with the opportunity to help raise money to support marine conservation, as well as providing a sustainable alternative to bucket and spade sets already on the market.”
He added, “By showing how the processing takes place, we aim to give volunteers an impetus to actually get stuck in and to see where their hard work is going.”
“All of the plastic ends up being locally sourced. It’s great to think that waste on one beach can become a useful tool for that same beach.”
Three beach cleans are planned at Westward Ho! beach in May, June and July to collect discarded plastic for beach toy production.
The toys aim to be sold in the local beach shops around where the plastic is collected. Callum said he wants all profits from sales to be donated to Surfers Against Sewage.
Collection bag will be supplied at the events, as well as sanitised pickers and freshly washed gloves. Everyone attending will be encouraged to socially distance at all times.
Pheobe Gibbs, Plastic Free Torridge, said: “We are proud to see Westward Ho! selected as the first beach to collect plastic for production.“
“There is so much plastic deposited on our beaches after every tide it’s heartbreaking. Now when we find a plastic bottle or fish crate, we can smile knowing it will be repurposed into a beach toy.”
The bucket and spade is an iconic feature of a British beach holiday. Every year tens of thousands of plastic buckets and spades are manufactured in China using virgin plastic, imported and sold in beach side shops around the UK.
Earlier this year, Westward Ho! also became the first village in the UK to ban the sale of cheap plastic body boards though a campaign by Plastic Free Torridge, Plastic Free North Devon and Keep Britain Tidy’s Ocean Recovery Project.
Andrew Cross, of Plastic Free Torridge, said: “Using virgin plastic to manufacture a bucket and spade when so much plastic is washed up on our beaches seems odd doesn’t it?”
“Using plastic puked up by the ocean on every tide to help make beach toys is very exciting and I am proud that Westward Ho! beach has been chosen to support this venture.”