TPP Update

We have been a little quiet, so wanted to give everyone a full update.

Firstly any outstanding books/prints/journals will be fulfilled in the next month, really appreciate the support with these, and they haven’t been without issues on production or delivery, but they will all be completed within the next month.

Our film will also be released online, firstly to the people who backed the project via a private link and then more widely. Thankyou to everyone who came and watched it, it was great to meet so many of you.

As for the project as a whole, well we have decided to focus on delivering resources to schools and organisations that would like to use them. We have an incredible archive which is freely available globally, and we’re very proud that it has now been used by around four million students.  The great thing about this is not only does it reach future generations, but we can also run this now with no cost, thus we no longer need to seek sponsorships, look for donations etc. It’s a point that we have always wanted to reach.

We also believe that being a campaign that raises awareness is almost redundant, and there are much bigger campaigns doing the same thing far more effectively. When we started we had a unique voice, and that is not so much the case now, and realistically the emphasis is about doing things now not telling everyone.

With that in mind we are going to keep updating this page, and we will be using it to keep people posted on the educational side of things, but also to promote people who are actually making a difference from refill and plastic free shops to wetsuits without oil, that way we can use our audience to promote people doing something about it because at the end of the day that is where real change will come from.

Socially because no one works full time here, or for any form of payment, the size of the communities was a little overwhelming, and we simply could not respond to every message all of which were interesting, we have put them to dormant mode, we are looking at ways to use them positively in the same way we are with this page with businesses.

Finally we will release a full financial statement around the project, just to put a full stop on this section of things. The whole project over five years has cost about £50k of which 15% has come from product sales and donations, 30% from sponsorship and the remaining 55% from our own pockets.

We’re very proud of the impact the project has had, especially in the early days when there was little press on the subject, and we are incredibly grateful for all of the support, and our final focus for this first phase is to complete all outstanding orders etc.

 

Arctic Swells

The basis for The Plastic Project is to create a huge free educational resource of images for anyone, we do this by going to and working with other photographers going to all the coastlines on Earth. If we were to do this as a job it would cost a huge amount of cash, and we have always said we want to run a lean ship here (and not take away from other orgs), that only requires a small amount of money each year to keep the resource housed and running. Thus when we shoot we do it off the back of commercial trips, the last one we did we tagged along and shot stills with Alan Stokes and Anthony Butler making this beautifully shot film for Kayak. Check it out, below you can see a spread from our new book of some fo the plastic we found along the way (and some awesome aurora)

Alan with plastic and the incredible Northern Lights all in our new book.

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You can get hold of the book below or find out more HERE

 

 

 

TPP News

The last month has been the most significant for a long while with TPP. Apart from health revelations, which are always a reminder to eat healthy and live life to the full, The Plastic Project is about to be a part of big shift.

This week we send out the last of our books, thank you to everyone for the patience in waiting for them, it’s been a great journey making them, but as we’ve created more stories and images we’ve kept wanting to add them. But now it is finished, it is now sold out.

 

The book is now a line in the sand on this first big phase of The Plastic Project. So what have achieved?

When we started plastic in the ocean was a known, but not widely known, and using my own and loads of other surf photographers images we trod a path from small events to schools to film festivals, talking and showing images and film. I’m not sure how many people we have stood up in front of but, it’s in the tens of thousands.

We ended up on TV, standing as examples for scientists to illustrate the problem in tangible terms, and crucially we created a free educational resource which has now reached three and half million students. That resource is without doubt our great achievement, and it will continue to grow, and hopefully we are on the verge of merging it and sharing that resource with several much bigger groups.

Since we started (and we were not the first by any means) the problem has reached national awareness in the UK like no other country thanks to 2 Minute Beach Clean, SAS and Sky Ocean Rescue, globally some countries are close to and exceed where the uK is, but many more are way behind, so the fight has to continue, but we have been toiling with the how?

So we broke down our success, and that is using the surf/adventure angle we have inspired thousands to go out and enjoy the world sustainably and become activists against the creeping death of plastic pollution. We wanted to use this more, not just to address plastic, but as our name suggests we’re kind of backed into a corner on what we cover, so we wanted an alternative.

That is where The Surfer’s Path came in. The much loved title, and one I have a lot of personal history with, was cut down way ahead of time, and deserved a return. It’s philosophy coincide with our own as well, and it made sense that using the path as a vessel for surf, adventure and the environment we could tell a lot of surfing stories that would inspire, and entertain, as well as spreading our wings into every part of environmentalism around our ocean.

So to cut a long story short, The Path is coming back, in film, events and as a very high quality, but sustainable, quarterly journal. You won’t find it on a news stand though, we’re moving with the times and those days are long gone, so stay tuned on that. we’ll have  a new site later this month but in the meantime follow us over on Instagram HERE if you were a subscriber in the past drop us a line – hello@surferspath.com – and we have  something for you, Or you can become part of the movement HERE

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Dispatches from A Plastic Planet in Numbers

As the final version of our book hits the streets, and we get ready for the next (surprising) but very exciting phase of this project, here’s a few statistics from Dispatches From A plastic Planet –

Number of beaches shot – 196

Number of surf breaks surfed – 71

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Number of countries visited – 6

Number of Trees planted – 18,900

Number of trees we need to plant still to offset our travel – 7,400

Number of beach cleans (not including 2 minutes) – 191

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Approx weight of rubbish collected – 2072 kilos

Most Common Large Item – Fishing nets

Most common mid size item – plastic bottles

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Most common small plastic item – bottle tops/cotton bud sticks

Most Common Brand – Coca Cola

Brand Found on every cleanup – Coca Cola

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Confirmed Furthest Travelled Item – Lobster pot tag from cape cod, found in Lofoten.

No. of messages in a bottle – 1, sadly had got wet and was illegible

Beach with most plastic on it – Les Bourdains, France

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Beach where we couldn’t even find micro plastic – haha only joking, we found plastic everywhere

No. of dead dolphins found in fours years – 276

No. of dead whales found in four years – 6

No. of dead cows found in four years – 3

No. of Dead Sea birds tangled in fishing gear found in four years– 71

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Most common rubbish by volume/waste – Fishing gear by miles

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Surfers in the Book – Micah Lester, Adam Griffiths, Tom Butler, Scott Rodgerson, Matz Ginman trout, Gareth Llewellyn, Toby Atkins, Warren Llewellyn, Ben skinner, Ian Battrick, Adrian Fernandez De Valderama, Nelson Cloarec, Ritchie sills, Noah Lane, Ciearn Haresnape, Alan stokes, Oli Adams, Chris Noble, Peony Knight, Steff Skarwolaski, John John Florence, Jayce Robinson, Peter Conroy, Eugene Tollemache, Russell Bierke.

Heaviest Wave –  Tens or Rielly’s

Coldest Session – Lofoten Left

No. of boards broken – 21

No. of camera housings broke – 1

NUMBER OF STUDENTS REAChED WITH OUR EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES – 3.1 million in 24 countries, THANKYOU FOR ALL YOUR HELP

You can order a book below the numbers left are – 37

 

 

 

 

The Independents Turning The Tide

We want to use this platform to publicise all the good thats going on. We have spent so much time spreading the negativity about the global destruction of plastic over the last ten years, but over this time there are so many positives, from big and small companies that have made a huge difference. So lets start right here with three independent stores, in key surfing towns, that have got off their sofas and are dealing with plastic head on, they all deserve our support, and in the long run, these are the change makers who will help solve the long term plastic situation.

Un_Rap

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u_rap is one of the first in Cornwall to offer full plastic free/waste free shopping, un_rap has become the go to plastic free shop in Falmouth. It’s situated on Webber Hill just off the moor, bring all your own containers and take home good produce without the rubbish. Find out exactly what they sell, and where to find them HERE

Incredible Bulk

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We ran into these guys a little while ago, and we’d certainly say they are the only mobile zero waste shop in Cornwall, and possibly the whole of the UK? It’s a good idea, one of the issue of zero waste shop sis they are at the moment less accessible than standard supermarkets, and especially in rural counties like Cornwall. So these guys decided to bring the chance of bulk zero waste shopping to the customer rather than the other way around, check them out HERE

Almond and Co.

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The south coast town/conurbation of Bournemouth and Poole incredibly have no dedicated plastic free shop, well until this April. Almond and Co are well into their shop fit, and will be opening at 75 Poole Street in the heart of Westbourne in April. These are a dedicated group of individuals, and their plan for waste free organic shopping is one of the most ambitious and forward thinking waste free shopping experiences coming to the whole country. Be sure to check them out HERE and follow the progress on Instagram

 

We know there are loads more and will be drip feeding them out to you, chase starts with us, and supporting these places is essential.

Dolphin Deaths On The French Coast

Since living in France I have been shocked by the amount of Dolphins/Porpoises that have washed up on French beaches, I figured it was partly due to the position, but as I’ve researched it, it becomes more and more obvious that it is largely due to intensive fishing in The Bay Of Biscay. I’ll quote the stats here but please read this article for the detailed analysis HERE. Essentially though, more Dolphins die as a result of accidental capture due to fishing than in all the hunts on the Faroe Islands and Japan combined, we are rightly outraged by those, but this is an even bigger issue that is slipping under the radar. Somewhere between 6 and 10k dolphins and porpoises die a year. I wouldn’t have thought much of it if the below scenes n he rubbish dumps behind the beach were not monthly occurrence…

Dolphins from The Plastic Project on Vimeo.

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If you’d like to help us, we have thirty books left, postage is free and it helps us deliver our educational program.

 

 

 

Are Small Changes Enough?

You have to look at whatever you’re doing analytically at every turn, doesn’t matter what you’re doing if you want to achieve something you’ve just got to be super self critical. One thing that is really clear from being involved in the fight against plastic and by proxy climate change, is that small changes alone are simply not going to be enough. If we’d all started these movements on plastic and climate change thirty years ago, the maybe, but right now, sadly not.

That doesn’t mean your should stop making those small changes, whether that be 2 minute beach cleans or refusing single use plastic, it’s all important, but we have to get bigger and political on this, our lives and futures literally depend on it.

Education is most definitely one way of doing it, the next generation are going to have to change the world, there is no two ways about it, they will suffer more than anyone. So getting the message to them, young creative minds is revolutionary and it is where our focus lies. But we are not a political campaign group, hence why we have got to implore you help groups that are join SAS HERE, or if you’re into snow how about Protect Our Winters.

It’s now at a tipping point, and in the cold harsh light of day, it may be too late but it is worth a bloody good try to save this place.

If you’d like to see what we’re saving grab one of our last books…