Dutch fashion company Scotch & Soda has waded into new territory with the launch of its own sustainable boat, The Free Spirit of Amsterdam, and hopes to bring a similar initiative to the Middle East.
Created in partnership with Plastic Whale, a Dutch environmental enterprise, the boat is made entirely of PET plastic bottles pulled from Amsterdam’s canals.
"We want to support Plastic Whale's vision that plastic can be turned into something both useful and inspiring. The boat that is made of recycled plastic waste addresses the water pollution issue top of mind, but also gives the opportunity to our customers to do good and help preserve the beauty of our iconic canals," said a spokesperson for Scotch & Soda.
Each boat, which takes up to three months to build, is made with more than 5,000 bottles collected from the Dutch capital's canals, the brand said.
Buoyed by the success of an initiative that has so far held more than 700 clean-up events across Europe, now Scotch & Soda is keen to bring Plastic Whale and its unique concept to this region.
“We are currently in talks with a Gulf Cooperation Council-based organisation specialised in water conservation and reduction of plastic waste, and hoping to launch more localised charity partnerships which resonate with our customers in the Middle East," a Scotch & Soda spokesperson said.
Founded in 2011, Plastic Whale was set up with the sole intention of cleaning Amsterdam's waterways, retrieving 40,500 PET plastic bottles from the city's canals in the first eight years, thanks to the help of almost 18,000 volunteers.
In a clever case of circular thinking, this loop will continue until there is no more rubbish to collect.
Scotch & Soda's boat will now join the fleet of 13 others helping to keep Amsterdam clean.
By hosting what it dubs "plastic fishing trips", visitors can join a boat trip to scoop up rubbish which, once reclaimed, is washed and reduced to granules. These are then made into foam panels that in turn are used to make boats, enabling more people to take part in the clean-up campaign.
Open to all, the Dutch boat trips can be booked by individuals, companies and even as educational school trips.