We had a little northerly blast and some swell over here on the east side, sadly not as big surf wise as we had hoped for but a full update coming and some serious rubbish. Living on the east coast we have comparatively little rubbish on the beaches, until the wind swings.
It’s easy to come over as all holier than thou all this being a surfer close to the ocean environment etc. but we all have to take a long hard look at our own industry and this week it has been all about wetsuits. Whilst you don’t see wetsuits floating around in the ocean very much, the neoprene they are made of, whether it be from traditional sources or limestone, is still a totally un-recyclable product. Sure you can cut the arms and legs up and make them into beer coolers, you can melt them down and turn them into other things like door mats, but really the only end result is them ending up in land fill. Every time they are recycled, and very very few are they just take another step towards a rubbish dump. So what is to be done? Well Patagonia came out with Yulex, a plant based material which they have been combining with neoprene, so a step in the correct direction, but now they are going all the way. In 2016 we will be able to purchase a suit that is made entirely from a plant based rubber, making the end of oil based suits a real possibility. Of course the big challenge is to get people to use them, not everyone is going to switch to Patagonia, but where it can work is if all wetsuit brands make the switch to the new material, only time will tell on that, but you can read more about the new suits HERE.
Watergate, a place I love, gets a crazy amount of marine litter on it. We’ll be working in Cornwall over the next couple of weeks but it’s always good to see some other images coming in, in this case from Sarah at Checkered Photography, of the haul her and her boyfriend Stu took off the beach last week.
Finally we’re making a Plastic Project film as you know, and there will be a short trailer coming up. But I’ve also been working with film maker James Mitchell on a film called Water, about people who spend their professional life in the ocean, here is a rough cut of one of the interviews, all done over the phone at the moment, but a good insight for any photographers out there.