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By turning plastic trash from canals into furniture, Marius proves plastic does have value!

Source: Plastic Whale

Together with Maatschapwij, BrightVibes makes a series about plastic. What exactly is the problem? And how can it be solved? This week: Marius Smit, who is aiming to change we look at plastic with Plastic Whale.

Plastic soup

After witnessing the Plastic Soup himself in 2011, Marius sets up Plastic Whale.  By himself, without a concrete plan, but with a clear challenge: building a boat from plastic waste.

Marius: “I hoped it would lead to a movement of citizens, companies and governments trying to achieve a change together.  To Make the impossible possible. And that is what happened.  

Marius and the Plastic Whale team Source: Plastic Whale

Plastic fishing

Plastic Whale is the first professional plastic fishing company in the world.  From teh very start, the concept was a succes. 

Marius: “Our first event – a drink for friends and acquaintences – attracted 450 people.  The next year there were 1200 people.  And in the meantime, thousands of tourists and schoolchildren have helped us to clear the Amsterdam canals of plastic and we’ve taken over 400 companies on to the water".

Part of the Solution

According to Marius, the power of plastic fishing lies in the fact that it gives people the opportunity to be part of the solution for this gigantic problem.  “People love being on a boat, especially on the Amsterdam canals.  When you can then also make a difference by fishing plastic out of the water, that’s a great feeling" 

Plastic fishing on the Amsterdam canals Source: Plastic Whale

From worthless to worthy

Plastic Whale uses the thousands of plastic bottles it fishes out of the canals each year to make its own boats.  This way, the company wants to deliver a change in the way we look at plastic.  

Marius: “We should look at plastic for what it is: a valuable material.  Because as soon as something has value, you regard ad use it differently; you cherish it, have less of it and if you do use it, you will use it longer and reuse if again.”

Circulair furniture Source: Plastic Whale

A starting point

With this circulair furniture – inspired by the shark – marius hopes to start a change within the companies who purchase them. "The table is not the end product, but the start of something.  It inspires to do something good.  And that’s where out motto is based on: ‘Stop talking, let’s start doing.’

Watch Marius and Plastic Whale's story hereSource: BrightVibes

More videos in our plastic series

Text & video: Sanne van Hemert (BrightVibes) & Nadine Maarhuis (Maatschapwij)

This is the fourth and last episode of our series about plastic. See more? Get inspired also by Lilly’s Plastic Pickup, the Plastic Soup Foundation and The Zero Waste Project!

Make an Impact

Learn more about Plastic Whale's mission