Surfers offer free wooden bellyboards to cut plastic pollution


At 140 seashores throughout Britain, conventional bellyboards can be found to borrow without cost because of a Cornish startup that’s dedicated to tackling discarded polystyrene boards

Locals name them ‘snappers’ – the bargain-bucket polystyrene bodyboards which might be a seashore time favorite with youngsters, however that invariably show as shortlived as the nice British summer season.

On seashores within the south-west, their tattered stays have turn into such a depressingly acquainted sight that one council backed banning them altogether.

However recognising that not each mum or dad has the deep pockets to stump up for a extra sustainable, picket ‘bellyboard’ various, one producer is providing day lengthy leases without cost on coastlines throughout the UK.

Dick Pearce and Friends, a startup that makes conventional picket bellyboards by hand in Newquay, Cornwall, trialled the thought – dubbed ‘Surf Wooden for Good’ – final summer season, and has expanded to greater than 30 websites for this season.

Round 140 boards have been gifted to surf outlets and Nationwide Belief websites in Devon, Cornwall and on the east coast, in addition to in Scotland, Wales and Northern Eire.

“I get it,” stated Dick Pearce and Buddies proprietor Jamie Johnstone. “Folks come away for a few days, the children see these low cost bodyboards coated in loopy designs, they usually need them. They typically don’t have the cash for a £60 picket board, so we’re simply attempting to supply a sustainable various.”

Bellyboards

Bellyboarders experience the waves in Cornwall. Picture: Luke Gartside

Hold Britain Tidy estimates that some 16,000 polystyrene boards are deserted on UK seashores yearly. They shed fragments of polystyrene into the ocean as they disintegrate, which are sometimes mistaken for meals by marine life.

“They’re simply not match for goal,” stated Johnstone, whose grandfather launched him to the enjoyment of picket bellyboards in childhood. “They’re made out of the most cost effective of low cost foams – the stuff your TV comes packed in. Anybody who lives down right here is aware of the frustration of seeing them damaged and discarded on our seashores.”

Plastic Free North Devon has campaigned since 2019 for low cost polystyrene boards to be outlawed. Final 12 months, North Devon district council voted to again the group’s effort, saying it was unable to impact a ban however calling on retailers to behave voluntarily.

Bellyboards

Estimates recommend 16,000 polystyrene boards are deserted within the UK yearly. Picture: Ocean Restoration Mission

A wave of public assist – together with a 6,700-signature parliamentary petition – has led to 4 north Devon cities saying self-imposed bans.

Dick Pearce and Buddies’ boards are handmade from sustainable birch plywood, and Johnstone stated some great benefits of wooden over low cost polystyrene will not be solely environmental.

“Bellyboards don’t have the buoyancy of froth, so you’re feeling very linked to the water,” he defined. “It’s a tremendous pure feeling.”

Essential picture: Evie Johnstone 

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