Pioneering a Circular Economy Through
Recycling Marine Plastic
Odyssey Innovation was born from a passion to rid the seas of plastic pollution. In 2014 founder Rob Thompson established a volunteer group of divers to retrieve marine plastic and ghost gear.
Rob had the honour of meeting His Royal Highness, Prince Charles during an Ocean Plastics event. Here he signed a pledge to explore ways of developing a circular economy around marine plastic. Taking this responsibility seriously, he embarked on a marine plastic Odyssey.
The challenge was how to resolve three recurring obstacles.
1. How best to access inaccessible stretches of the Cornish coastline.
2. How to dispose of the plastic collected
3. How to fund ocean clean up activities.
To resolve these issues an ambitious plan was formed using the circular economy, to turn these three problems on their head and find a solution.
The eureka moment came after a litter pick using kayaks, it ended with volunteers stood around a great haul of bin bags to have their photo taken.
The knowledge that these bags ended up in landfill had always played upon Rob's mind and it occurred to him that he could make the kayaks out the plastics gathered and then use the kayaks to gather more plastic.
It took a further two years of research and development for Rob to find a way of recycling the marine plastic into a material suitable for kayak manufacturing.
During this time he formed partnerships with Keep Britain Tidy, to assist in recycling beach plastic which became the Ocean Recovery Project and he became Plastix UK representative for the recycling of fishing nets.
A World's First
In January 2018 he 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.
The kayaks are not just retailed but also used for our global Paddle for Plastic campaign to retrieve marine plastic and give back to the communities that support us through sponsorship.
Odyssey Innovation collaborates with charities, government bodies, the fishing industry, recyclers, manufacturers, Innovators and businesses, in order to find long-term sustainable solutions to tackle marine plastic pollution through the circular economy. If you would like to find more about how your business can incorporate the Circular Economy please take a look at our consultancy page.