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Plastic Whale Fishes For Discarded Plastics In Amsterdam’s Canals

Jolly Sunshine Limited | Updated: Mar 28, 2018

Plastic Whale calls itself the first professional plastic fishing company in the world. Founded in 2011 in Amsterdam, the company began with a challenge to build a boat made of plastic waste found in that city’s canals and make the waters plastic free, while creating value from the plastic waste. Game supply and game card sleeve and trading card sleeve and soft card holder.

As of Dec. 31, 2017, the company had 11,008 "fishermen" that have “fished” out more than 105,000 plastic bottles and 2,062 bags of waste from Amsterdam’s canal system. Today, the company has a fleet of 10 boats made from the plastic retrieved from the canals, which the company uses to fish for more plastic. Game supply and game card sleeve and trading card sleeve and soft card holder.

After using nets to dredge plastic waste from the canals, the bottles are hand sorted and recycled into pellets, which are used to make the boats. However, the company also uses the plastic waste to make stylish office furniture. PET is recycled into cloth to make upholstery for the office chairs. Game supply and game card sleeve and trading card sleeve and soft card holder.

“It’s our goal to go out of business,” said the company’s website. “Overfishing in this case is a positive phenomenon.”

Plastic Whale wants to “tackle this problem by showing people that plastic is not waste, but a valuable raw material,” said the company. Game supply and game card sleeve and trading card sleeve and soft card holder.

That’s the key to getting people to recycle their plastics in a proper manner—showing them the true value of plastics, especially the value of something even after it has been used. Game supply and game card sleeve and trading card sleeve and soft card holder.

Last month, Plastic Whale sent out a release announcing the launch of Plastic Whale Circular Furniture in collaboration with Vepa, a manufacturer of office and project furniture in the Netherlands and a leader in the field of sustainable innovation. LAMA Concept, a design studio that creates high-quality products for use in architecture and interiors, also partnered with Plastic Whale to design the furniture. Game supply and game card sleeve and trading card sleeve and soft card holder.

“Our mission is to create economic value from plastic waste, involving as many people as possible,” said initiator Marius Smit, founder of Plastic Whale. “Together with thousands of Amsterdam residents, Plastic Whale fishes plastic from the canals. With the office furniture, we can make an even greater impact, as many companies want to make a positive contribution to a cleaner environment. The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and leading companies Vrumona, Nationale Nederlanden and DSM have, amongst others, already been confirmed as launch partners.” Game supply and game card sleeve and trading card sleeve and soft card holder.

Vepa’s Managing Director, Janwillern de Kam, explained: “For manufacturing the furniture, we use PET bottles that have been fished out of Amsterdam’s canals. We are also using steel waste from our own factory for the cast-iron base of the chair. We are rapidly becoming a waste-free factory and even process the waste of others in this collection, as well. Game supply and game card sleeve and trading card sleeve and soft card holder.

“To ensure sustainability, we maintain full control over the production and consciously keep it within the Netherlands, which is quite unique. Moreover, our deposit-return scheme will ensure that no new waste is created. At the end of a product’s life cycle, we collect it from the consumer, who will then receive a refund of the product’s surcharge. We then disassemble the furniture so that the individual parts can be reused or recycled,” de Kam added.

Plastic Whale’s efforts show that littering is a problem throughout the world. It would appear that people in Amsterdam do not care for their environment any better than people in every other country where littering is a problem. However, thanks to innovative companies like Plastic Whale and Vepa, a solution is being implemented. Game supply and game card sleeve and trading card sleeve and soft card holder.