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.
To resolve these issues, an ambitious plan was formed using the circular economy, to turn these 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 of the plastics gathered and then use the kayaks to gather more plastic.
It took a further two years of research 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 finishing nets.
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 world's 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 communities that support us through sponsorship.
Experiencing positive change concerning the reduction, reuse and recycling of plastic is no mean feat, especially when we all know how hard change can be on a personal level- let alone a nationwide and global level! However, given our story, we have to believe.
Every single one of us has the power to help the environment if we want our loved ones to inherit a world worth living in.
Our Founder, Rob Thompson, set up this company with less that £200 in the bank and orchestrated most of his business alone until friends and other eco-warriors started feeding in to his work. It was right after a beach clean in 2015, that Rob finished from a ocean clean up kayaking expedition that triggered the birth of Odyssey Innovation.
It was also this that inspired the company's giving back mechanism.
Through our awesome Paddle for Plastic Campaign we create positive connections between plastic as a waste and waste plastic as a resource which sheds light on the severity of the plastic crisis whilst also instilling hope, courage and determination in all our fellow paddlers. To read more please click the link below.
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 out more about how your business can incorporate the Circular Economy please take a look at our consultancy page.
*This would have been impossible without the help of all the fantastic beach clean community groups, councils, harbours, businesses, fishermen, net makers and charities we work with today.
That's the equivalent amount of plastic you are helping divert from the marine environment when you purchase one of our Marine Recycled Plastic Surfing Handplanes.
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