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Marine plastics sailed into the Exe for recycling – a carbon free journey

Published: 24 September 2020

The Annette The Annette with its cargo of washed up plastics - on route to Exeter

Plastics washed up from around the coastline are being sailed up the coast to the Exe Estuary in a carbon-free journey – the first of its kind -  before being sorted in Exeter, sent off for recycling and some of the plastics turned into useful items like ocean kayaks.

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

Already en-route, Clean Ocean Sailing’s vessel set off on the latest leg of its journey from Gweek in Cornwall on 18 September. All being well, the schooner is set to arrive in Exmouth next Wednesday (30 September) after stopping and performing more clean ups on the way!

The plastics were collected by Clean Ocean Sailing from beaches and rivers around the peninsula, as well as the Scilly Isles, and will be taken to Exeter’s Materials Reclamation Facility (MRF) as part of the Ocean Recovery Project, a partnership between Exeter City Council, Keep Britain Tidy and South West Water.

The initiative sees marine plastics collected from the south west taken to the City’s Council’s MRF, where they are sorted and sent off to be recycled. Some of the plastics are turned into ocean kayaks by Odyssey Innovation.

This week the project was shortlisted for Let’s’s 2020 Awards for Excellence in Recycling and Waste Management, in the Best Local Authority’s Recycling Initiative of the Year category.

Cllr David Harvey, 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.

“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.” 

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 effected 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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