Merijn Tinga - London - Thames RIB Experience
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Thames RIB first ever podcast – interview of Merijn Tinga aka the Plastic Soup Surfer.

At midday on Tuesday 18th July, Merijn Tinga aka the Plastic Soup Surfer, boarded the Thames RIB vessel Ultimate at Gravesend. He had just windsurfed over 1800km, from Oslo over a 32-day period, on a board constructed with plastic bottles found on the banks of the Thames back in February. Traveling upstream and against the current the entire way, he returned these bottles and delivered a petition the next day to the environment minister Rebecca Pow, as well as meeting the BBC and representatives from Coca-Cola to discuss plastic waste reduction.  

The early 06:00 start on 19th July at Tower Pier was dictated by two factors; he had his first of two interviews with the BBC at 10:30am. Furthermore, in order to gain PLA permission for the photoshoot to take place on the water within the Upper Pool & Kings Reach, the photoshoot needed to be done during the flood tide window, with an escort boat on standby within 15m of Merijn at all times. Once arrived at Tower Bridge, his team shot some great footage thanks to the fantastic crew onboard Ultimate, before traveling up to the Palace of Westminster and re-entering the water for the final photoshoot. 

The purpose: Merijn has been campaigning for the introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme for beverage containers made from recyclable materials.  

Over the past 8 years he has raised awareness in a similar manner by windsurfing incredible distances on boards made from waste plastic. A resolution he wrote was even adopted by Dutch parliament, creating a deposit based system for the sale of small plastic bottles in the Netherlands. The efficacy of similar such schemes in reducing waste from beverage containers has now been proven across various European nations. 

In support of the effort Thames RIB Experience agreed to run the support boat service on the day for free, asking only that operating costs were met.  

The petition to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme in the UK, having already reached thousands of signatures from NGOs and the public alike, has been extended and can be signed online at: Sign the letter to Minister Pow | Plastic Soup Surfer | Plastic Soup Surfer 


21 July 2023 /
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