The University of Plymouth is supporting a passionate diver and conservationist in his efforts to turn collected marine litter into new and sustainable products.
Rob Thompson, founder of Odyssey Innovation, has launched a crowdfunding campaign which aims to raise funds to scale up the manufacturing of a handplane made entirely of recycled marine plastics.
Being made in the UK, the wrist strap padding on the handplane will be made from recycled, end-of-life wetsuits and the webbing from seat belts and life jackets donated by the RNLI.
By doing this, Odyssey Innovation plans to reuse waste materials which otherwise would have ended up in landfill, incinerated or worse, back in the ocean.
The project is being supported by Acceleration Through Innovation (ATI), a project led by the University and funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It assists businesses looking to adopt innovative processes or who aspire to bring a new product or service to market.
ATI provided Odyssey Innovation with research, design and prototyping expertise, as well as an innovation consultancy grant that assisted with the costs of product design and development.
Working collaboratively with Dynamic Edge Innovation Ltd, as well as undergoing testing with a number of local surfers, Odyssey Innovation then refined and perfected its handplane design to create something that is “designed by surfers, for surfers”.