The Marine Litter Strategy – 10 key findings

The Marine Litter Strategy – 10 key findings

Ghost net recovery

Ocean plastic is everywhere and an urgent response is needed from the government and the marine industries. Marine Scotland is updating its Marine Strategy which was last published in 2014 and is out for consultation.

A comprehensive response to the marine litter strategy has been written by Scottish charity plasticatbay.org with some key findings for us all. They have done extensive research and work in the field of ocean plastics so are best placed to give an informed in-depth response which you can find here.


Some key findings to help reduce ocean plastic around Scotland and the UK.

  • Scotland is one of the most polluted coasts in the world.
    According to @PlasticBays report, research and data NW Scotland is one of the most polluted coasts in Europe (probably in the world).
  • We need a review of enforcement of the terrestrial littering and fly-tipping regulations.
  • We urgently need the development of a waste management system.
    Currently marine waste is shipped to Europe for processing. We need to improve recycling routes for end of life fishing gear here in the UK with a local processing fascility.
  • Implement producer responsibility across the UK.
    Scotland and the entire UK needs to align with the EU and implement the ‘Extended Producer Responsibility’ on Fishing Gear, making manufacturers pay for collection and recycling.
  • Fishing and aquaculture are responsible for the majority of ocean pollution.
    Accdording to the data collected by @ plasticbay 50 to 90% of the ocean plastics removed by weight, is from fishing and aquaculture
  • We need policy to reduce sewage related pollution from industry and water companies
  • We need the development of an international plastic pellet certification scheme.
  • Coastal Rangers work and we need more around our coasts
    A major gap of the consultation is the omission of beach cleaning requirements. Coastal rangers have been implemented when funding has been there and they work at finding marine pollution before they become a problem. There is too much reliance on charities and the goodwill of the public.
  • Monitoring needs to be expanded nationwide and all year round. We noticed vast variations between the summer when most surveys used by Marine Scotland are made and the winter when ocean plastic pollution is at its worst lacks data. 
  • Net cuttings and waste from aquaculture
    Marine Scotland still fails to recognise net cuttings and waste from aquaculture and shipping as a major source of ocean plastic pollution.

What can you do to end ocean plastic pollution?

Fundamentally we have a problem and we also have some clear solutions which need to be implemented asap across not only Scotland but across the UK, EU and world. This issue is one of the most important in the world right now and needs to be put firmly on the agenda.

Please speak to your local MP and ask them what they are doing to tackle this issue?

Transforming ocean plastic waste into recycled ocean plastic plant pots

Ocean plastic plant Pot

For many years we have been working towards how we can turn the tide on ocean plastic and marine waste with design and creative thinking. A small business in Bristol, we started our sustainable journey from humble beginnings in utilising waste materials for our fire cluster lamps, created the ‘Ocean Chair’ in 2018 and now our latest plant pot made with 100% recycled ocean plastic waste called ‘Oceana’. It’s been a long journey of discovery putting one foot in front of the other facing one challenge at a time.

Oceana – A plant pot made from the ocean plastic waste we find on our beaches

Winning the war on ocean plastic & empowering coastal communities

It’s our mission to use beautiful design and creative business thinking to empower coastal communities, clean our coasts of plastic pollution and demonstrate solutions through positive action. We believe our plant pot is the beginning of a beautiful story in the war on plastic and ocean pollution. We hope to inspire people with a positive story of a battle that was won recently in the war on ocean plastics.

Along the coast of northern Scotland in a beautiful area called Balnakeil bay, a ghost net has laid buried in the sand dunes for 10 years. As each tide moved in the sand would bury it deeper and deeper. A small and little known charity called plasticatbay.org that has been cleaning and monitoring marine debris in the area for years came across this massive net.

Cleaning Balnakeil bay
Plastic@bay cleaning Balnakeil bay of ghost nets and ocean plastics

It quickly became clear that it was much bigger than expected. Spread over 100m of the beach, It was buried deep under the sand so they would have to monitor it and cut off what they could to prevent marine animals from getting entangled. It was a slow and painful process.

Cleaning our seas planting positivity

In early February 2020, there was a huge storm that would change things. The winds moved across the coast whipping up the sea and creating massive swells which surged onto the beach. Soon the dunes had shifted and moved and the net was released from the clutches of the sand. Within days Julien, Joan and their team had freed the net and collected several hundred kilograms. For nearly a year the net has been washed by storms and rain stored and is finally being cleaned and processed. The net was progressively cut, dried and shredded and is now being turned into our ‘Oceana’ ocean plastic plant pot.

The ‘Oceana’ – A plant pot made from recycled ocean plastics

The material was dispatched a few weeks ago and is now being made into our designer plant pots. We are humbled by all the work the charity does on the ground and happy to support their work. It has always been a dream of mine to turn trash into treasure and demonstrate how we can turn ocean waste into a valuable resource.

I am now making a small batch of these plant pots and aim to scale and grow the business with a product range of plant pots and other products. Each plant pot is made from recycled ghost net plastics creating a beautiful and unique item for your home. The material is super strong, the colours are beautiful and totally unique. We pay a premium for the material which provide a sustainable income to the charity and community. A percentage of the profits also go towards charity which provides an income to support further work and research.

Ocena Plant pot made from recycled ocean plastics
Plant pot made from 100% recycled Ocean plastics

So all around it is a beautiful circular recycled material story creating wealth and abundance for coastal communities, helping nature and germinating smiles in peoples homes. thank you for joining us on the journey and for your continuing support.

6 Reasons why this plant pot is different to anything else on the market

Ocean Plastic Plant Pot

Production has started on a unique, designer, decorative plant pot made from recycled ocean plastics. The Ecotribo ‘Oceana’ plant pot is being made locally on the south west coast of England, Bristol. The idea is different to any other plant pots on the market for a number of reasons. All of them are positive and exactly what people and the planet needs.

  1. Positive outcomes for coastal communities.
    This plant pot aims to provide positive outcomes for coastal communities by cleaning our oceans, promoting recycling and demonstrating how we can renew, recycle, restore and regenerate the planet and our economy. Post covid there has been a lot of talk about ‘building back greener’. This local business and product is actually doing it. It will grow a social enterprise that aims to help people and the planet by starting locally and growing around the world. It aims to demonstrate how business can do things differently – where profit does not come before the planet. This plant pot demonstrates how we can help coastal communities take control of their plastic waste turning their trash into treasure and at the same time providing jobs and incomes.

  2. Made from recycled ocean plastics.
    We have utilised recycled fishing nets in our products production. Constructed from high-quality plastics, the material is extremely strong and robust and should last a lifetime. (If it doesn’t you can send it back to us and we will recycled it again for you). Fishing nets are the most abundant form of macro-plastic in the ocean and also the most lethal form of plastic debris for marine life according to the WWF. Currently, 640,000 tonnes of the stuff is produced every year. By using this material we give fishermen alternatives to landfill, as well as financial incentives to recycle their nets at the end of their lifecycle, returning the material back into a circular material loop. The material is recycled and processed here in Bristol and we turn it into products with a positive purpose – cleaning our seas, planting positivity.

  3. Made locally. Made different.
    This plant pot is made with a Precious Plastic ‘Plasticpreneur’ machine. A simple yet extremely effective machine which is part of a big community working to fix the plastic waste problem. The machinery for this planter is extremely cost effective, taking the means of production away from big manufacturers and empowering communities and small makers such as ourselves. This enables grassroots access to turn plastic waste into new opportunities to create and launch innovative products and set up new, income-generating projects and social businesses around the world. With these mobile machines it is possible to start recycling workspaces and the production of recycled products anywhere. We have plans of continuing to demonstrate our materials work and educating communities about the plastic problem from schools to the beaches we love.

  4. Local production means less C02.
    By keeping manufacture and the material we source local there is also the added benefit that we reduce C02 emissions by ensuring transport costs are kept to a minimum. We have shredded and processed our material right here in Bristol at the KWMC Factory. We would like to thank this amazing organisation for all their help and assistance over the years from when a seed of an idea germinated when I started doing material design research and local workshops with them till now.

  5. Different colour ways.
    Initially the plant pot comes in black as we have sourced nearly 1 ton of black fishing net plastics. We like to say, like the great designer Henry Ford, currently its available in a variety of colour ways, as long as it’s black!

    Rest assured we do aim to introduce different colour ways! The design is made up of 3 parts so that it can be mixed and matched in a variety of different colour ways as we ramp up production. We also want to use other local Bristol waste plastics to give us a broader colour palette.

  6. Scientifically proven to boost wellbeing
    Indoor plant pots reduce stress and anxiety. According to a study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, active interaction with indoor plants (like touching and smelling) can reduce physiological and psychological stress. Researchers at Exeter University, UK found that indoor plants improve concentration, productivity and boost staff well-being by 47% at work. Being around plants can also increase memory retention by up to 20%.


Our recycled fishing net process


All these reasons combined creates something truly unique and exciting for garden lovers, pot plant lovers, environmentalists, nature lovers and the planet.

There are so many reasons why we love what we do and are excited to launch this new product!


We have grand plans to grow this local Bristol business and continue to introduce new sizes, colours and products into the range. Our mission is to clean our seas, grow plants and germinate smiles. I hope you can now see – it is so much more than a plastic plant pot…it’s a shining ray of light. 


Production is currently limited. Please sign up to the newsletter form below to be the first to get one of the first runs to be made for Christmas 2021!

How to design a more environmentally friendly product and make it better?

Oceana - Plant Pot made from recycled ocean plastics

This was a question which originally appeared and I answered on Quora : What innovative methods can I use to redesign my product? I thought it was an important question and I was fairly impressed with my answer!;-) I thought I’d keep it here for prosperity on my blog. You may be interested in finding out more.

The original answer can be found here: What innovative methods can I use to redesign my product? Tyrone Probert, Director at Www.ecotribo.com (2017-present) Answered May 24, 2019

There are many ways to improve a product’s performance. Kaizen is the philosophy of continuous improvement and businesses need to constantly be innovating. The two most popular ways to make product improvements are to add new product features or improve existing ones. You could create a new product incorporating technology such as IoT or Ai. But I thought I would discuss another interesting and in my opinion, a more relevant idea. If you are looking for an innovative approach to redesign your product/business I would suggest looking at ways that you can make it more sustainable.

The way we design and make things is changing. We need to design products and systems that can efficiently meet our needs within planetary boundaries. The current system is no longer working for businesses, people or the environment. Customers are actively looking for eco-friendly alternatives so I would explore how your business could be more sustainable from product design to packaging and marketing.

Most products are currently designed as if there are limitless resources – take-make-waste. We call this a linear economy. We take resources from the ground to make products, which we use, and, when we no longer want them we throw them away. A new system of design and manufacture is required that is circular and sustainable. Designers and business owners need to consider how we manage resources, how we make and use products, and what we do with the materials afterwards. Only then can we create a thriving economy that can benefit everyone within the limits of our planet and ensure a sustainable business.

So where to start …

Design out waste: 
Waste and pollution infiltrate every aspect of most businesses currently. These are often design decisions that happen at the product development stage and where 80% of environmental impacts happen. Consider how your product is assembled and disassembled and ensure it can be recycled easily. Can parts be returned and refreshed rather than the whole item being discarded? Can you use new materials and technology to reduce or eliminate waste and pollution?

Keep products and materials in use: 
Have you considered how your product could be repaired and reused in future? Could this thinking be a part of the redesign? Can you redesign your product so it can be repaired easily, reused and easily recycled? What materials are you using? Can they be from recycled or biomaterials? Can you create a system where you collect the product from customers at the end of its life for it to be repurposed and made into another? About 80 million tonnes of ‘waste’ in total are generated in the U.K. alone each year.[5. Are there ways you can reuse your waste streams and create new product ranges or leverage the material in other ways? Have you considered new business models such as leasing so you can ensure the quality and recyclability of your product and supply chain?

Regenerate natural systems:
Can your product design ensure it does good and enhances natural systems? Consider the materials, chemicals, factories and transport it uses to get made and get to market. Use wind and solar to power your workshops and factories as this can be a huge benefit for the planet (and your marketing).

So optimise every element of your product to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and be a leader in the new circular economy. Create a business that you and your children can be proud of. A business that will be around for the next generation and the generation after that. Create products that solve a need without harming our planet and you will be successful my friend.

Above is a picture of my latest product prototype called ‘Oceana’ which is made from recycled Ocean plastics. A simple plant pot but made locally from ocean waste. I believe even the simplest products can be improved by simply replacing the materials and ensuring they are eco-friendly. I intend that the product will be made locally too to ensure that I reduce the products carbon footprint further.

Plant pots made from recycled ocean plastics. Reducing plastic in our oceans

Oceana Plant Pot made from recycled ocean plastics

Using plastic in the ocean – cleaning our seas planting hope.

The ‘Oceana’ plant and flower pot made from recycled ocean plastics. Designed and made in the United Kingdom these eco-friendly planters are made from recycled fishing nets. A bridge between land and sea. Designed to clean our coastlines, reduce plastics in our oceans and bring nature lovingly back into our lives. They will boost your health and well-being by helping people bring nature back into their homes.

Plastic in our oceans – now used in the manufacturing process to reduce coastal pollution.

I have made a few 3D prints, prototypes, as well as hand, made planters. Now I am gearing up to manufacture this new design. As you can imagine its a tricky thing to do in the world of COVID restrictions. Important work keeps being delayed. It’s frustrating but I am moving forward steadily on this product and can now reveal more.

Original launch announcement video that appeared on Instagram & Youtube in January 2021

I have been exploring how we can utilise ocean plastics and recycle it into a variety of products. Creating a business that can be good for people and the planet. Over the years I’ve created designs for planters, lampstands, wetsuit hangers. These have been small scale and usually hand made.

I’m hoping to scale these ideas to full manufacture as we did with the bicycle mudguards. Plants are known to reduce Co2 and boost our health and well being. I can’t think of a better outcome for ocean plastic waste.

Oceana

Plant pot manufactured from
recycled ocean plastics

Jellyfish Moon Bloom

Lamp stands

Ocean Tide planters

Plant pot hand made from ocean plastics and an oyster shell bio-composite

Sign up to get a discount and support a small business trying to do good.

All going well, the product launch will be in the spring. Please signup to the newsletter to be the first to find out and get a discount. Your support for my small business makes the world of difference.

The planter is inspired by my daughter Oceana and my love of the sea. The design also takes cues from the grooves on the underside of the humpback whale giving it a unique natural shape. The design will be a beautiful ode to these magnificent creatures and help clean their environment.

It will complement your favourite plant and bring some much-needed positivity into your home. The eco-friendly recycled ocean plastic planters have a contemporary fresh ocean blue colour, are 100% waterproof, completely recyclable and designed to last a lifetime.

They will be locally manufactured as part of a Community project. Injection moulded utilising the Precious Plastics machine, providing education around material design, recycling and the environment. If successful, business will be able to provide income to coastal and less privileged communities and their families by utising ghost nets in its manufacture.

Initially available in a medium sized 14cm x 19.5 cm plant pot perfect for new starter/medium-sized plants. I expect to grow the range to 2 larger size variants as well as different colourways.

If you would like to find out more please sign up to the Ecotribo newsletter which can be found on the bottom of the homepage. Get in touch if you are interested in stocking the planters, or giving moral support! Your support is appreciated so please follow me on Instagram, share and sign up to the newsletter to get an early bird discount.


Wetsuit hanger made from recycled wetsuits & FSC wood

Wetsuit hanger made from recycled wetsuits

A new range of ecofriendly wetsuit hangers made from recycled/upcycled wetsuits made in Bristol for surfers, Kitesurfer’s, SUP surfers, canoeists and divers.

Coldwater surfing takes a special love & commitment. I’m putting the same love and commitment into my eco-friendly wetsuit hangers made from recycled wetsuits and FSC wood. Super strong and robust to hold a heavy full-length wet wetsuit, booties and gloves ( it’s been tested to 8kg).


Made from eco materials

Wetsuit hanger made from recycled wetsuits & FSC wood

Hang from anywhere

Wetsuit hanger can be hung from just about anywhere


Wetsuit Hanger

Great for ensuring your wetsuit dries so you ready for the next session


It can hang off just about anything with the multipurpose strap. Hang from your van, a tree, or just a rail. The wetsuit hanger went through a rigorous research and development phase as prototyping took place on a 4000-mile surf trip around Europe in the summer of 2020. The wood is from FSC sustainable forests and sealed with an eco microporous wax for long life.

All packaging is plastic-free. I use recycled cardboard embossed with my Ecotribo stamp for a luxury and waste-free feel. I also use bio-based sellotape as Ecotribo continues to try to be a company that will #donoharm. I’m super excited to be able to bring another product to market that can actually help clean up our coasts and be a positive contribution to our environmental challenges. This would make a great gift for watersports enthusiasts who care for our planet and help raise awareness around these issues.

This is another product that aims to do good. My ‘ocean tide’ planters which utilise and are made from ocean plastics and an oyster-shell bio-composite and have been really popular. I have been selling these online as well as at the 3D Print Shop in Bristol for a few years. You can check them out in the etsy shop.

I am determined to continue my quest to find solutions to ocean plastic pollution and super grateful for all the support I have been receiving over the years on Instagram and other places.


Finding solutions and addressing the currently huge environmental issue of what to do with wetsuits at their end of their functional life

Mudguards made from 100% recycled plastic. A new Ecotribo collaboration with Rideguard.

Deity illustration

Ecotribo has launched a new mountain bike mudguard made from 100% recycled plastic with Bristol-based business, Rideguard. Tyrone Probert, the director of Ecotribo was approached by Rideguard to do the illustration and collaborate on the wider project in a variety of capacities.

I have been collaborating with Rideguard for over a year on our OceanX Project so it’s cool to get involved again. The director Ben and I enjoy the creative input to both of our businesses and I feel I’m part of the team at Rideguard now. I have been getting involved in a variety of other aspects such as business strategy, product development, branding, social media, film and graphic design.

Deity mudguards
Deity mudguards made from 100% recycled plastic

Detail

Poster

Ben commissioned me to do a new design/illustration for their latest range and I jumped at the opportunity. The brief was a bright and vibrant design celebrating nature which seemed like a dream job. I was inspired by the pro riders we have onboard to promote the OceanX project. Mark Mathews and Yoann Barrelli. Both riders are living in the mountains of Canada so I was inspired by the Eagles, mountains, Bears and Salmon of the region as I felt it would align well with both of our brand’s eco-friendly ethos and the joy of riding in nature.

My design is called ‘Deity’ and is now available in front and rear mudguards/fenders designed to fit most mountain bikes. If you are out riding in the muddy wintery weather you probably gonna need some mudguards so head on over to the Rideguard website to buy one today!

10% Profit Goes To OceanX
To help the fight against plastic pollution in our wild places.

Ecotribo Eco Designs that will change the world- Part 2

designs

Part two of Ecotribo Designs that will change the world. As per the previous post I thought it would be a good idea to explore, in more detail, the stories behind some of our favourite designs, with a focus on the eco and environmental design solutions which excite us this year. There were quite a few that we believe will, or could have a fundamentally positive effect on our planet and therefore need promoting as much as possible. So over the next few months, we will go into a bit more depth into each of them so please stay tuned and sign up to the blog, so you make sure you don’t miss out.

Have you seen the eco innitiative from Addidas which is having a massive affect on the clothing and shoe industry.

Plastic Waste – Designing, prototyping, manufacturing a circular, local economy

Surfer photo riding a wave

I have been on a journey of discovery for quite a while. As a surfer for over 30 years I love the sea, I grew up in South Africa on the beach surfing every day. My daughter is called Oceana and I have always found my happy place anywhere where there was water. Having spent many days doing beach cleans, I wanted to find positive solutions to the waste we find on our beaches. As a designer I knew I could make a positive impact and demonstrate the value of this plastic we so carelessly throw away by making practical things from plastic waste.

New range of surf & home products made in the UK from recycled ocean plastic

I was first inspired by Dave Hakkens at Precious plastic a few years ago and the great work that they have been doing with regard to finding solutions to plastic waste.  Since then I have been experimenting with various waste streams over the last year and am now ready to make this dream a reality. I have located the right machinery to recycle, shred and injection mould our surf & home products and now busy finalising the CAD models for the first in a range of products we hope to launch in the summer of 2018.

Here is a sneak peak of one of the products to be made from ocean plastic waste and post-consumer waste.

We have been experimenting with recycling local plastic waste streams and finding the right materials that work for our products and have found HDPE to be the ideal. Check out a closeup of the material below.

The machines are expensive but I feel it’s important to make this a reality and be the change we want to see in the world. The plan is in place and it’s coming together. Please get in touch if you would like to find out more or support us on our quest to help clean up our oceans, raise awareness of plastic waste, contribute positively to a better environment and a more sustainable circular economy.

I was first inspired by Dave Hakkens at Precious plastic a few years ago and the great work that they have been doing with regard to finding solutions to plastic waste.  Since then I have been experimenting with various waste streams over the last year and am now ready to make this dream a reality. I have located the right machinery to recycle, shred and injection mould our surf & home products and now busy finalising the CAD models for the first in a range of products we hope to launch in the summer of 2018.

Here is a sneak peek of one of the products to be made from ocean plastic waste and post-consumer waste including plant and flower pots made from recycled ocean plastics and an oyster shell biocomposite.

‘Bloom’ Lamp

A lamp stand made from recycled ocean plastics and an oystershell biocomposite

Ocean Tide

Plant Pot made from recycled ocean plastics and a oyster shell bio composite

Recycled Ocean Plastics

Recycled Ocean Plastics and Oyster shell biocomposite

OceanX Bicycle Mudguards made from recycled Ocean Plastics now on Kickstarter

Rideguard Mudguards

Since the launch of Ecotribo we have been on a mission to make a sustainable design business and have been trying to develop strategies of pollution prevention, eco product development. I have been super busy and working with some exciting brands with this objective in mind. 

This year I have been doing a R&D project with a large European food brand. I can’t currently share the project details but now I can finally share the other project I have been super excited about! The Rideguard OceanX Kickstarter project.

Please pledge to the campaign on Kickstarter

A collaboration with Bristol bike company, Rideguard

I am collaborating with Rideguard who are a wonderful local Bristol Business who have been making mudguards for over 4 years. Rideguard have been using post industrial waste plastics for their current range but Ecotribo are now helping them go even further. I have been working with Ben Gaby at Rideguard to develop a new range made form Ocean Plastics.  We’re proud to introduce the OceanX range of bike mudguards/fenders, made from 100% recycled fishing nets which has been launched on Kickstarter. Please check out the project and make a pledge if you can. 

The OceanX range of designs

By choosing this material we will be preventing nets from being discarded in our oceans, where they cause large-scale damage to marine ecosystems and animals, before breaking down into micro-plastics and ending up in the food chain and the fish we eat. The recycled fishing net material reduces C02 emissions by up to 95% compared to virgin plastics. The material is completely recycled and recyclable in kerbside council pickups.

This is more than just a range of mudguards, it’s about how the cycling industry can be the change that we want to see. 

With this campaign alone we aim to take 1 ton of Ocean waste out of the seas and turn it into rad bike gear. This is just the start of our journey as we hope to create a range of cycling gear made from recycled ocean plastic waste. Please support us and visit, make a pledge and share!

The OceanX Mudguard Range. Designed to universally fit Mountain Bikes, Disk Equipped Gravel, Road, CX, and Hybrid Bikes. 

•  Vision Front Gravel Mudguard. Fits Disc Brake Equipped Gravel, Cross, Road, and Hybrid Bikes. 

•  Gaiter Rear Gravel Mudguard. Neatly clips onto all standard saddle rails. 

•  PF1 Front Mountain Bike Mudguard. Fits all modern MTBs with suspension forks. 

•  PF2 Rear Mountain Bike Mudguard. Neatly clips onto all standard saddle rails.

Please follow the OceanX campaign on Kickstarter today and share with your friends

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