Optimist för havet

From ocean plastics to dinghies

It is a global issue with the plastics as marine pollution. Several initiatives have started around the world to influence people’s behaviour. In Sweden there is an awareness campaign called “Optimist för havet” (Optimist for the sea). Three Swedish organisations is behind the project and they all share the love for the sea. SSPA supports with building five prototype boats (optimist dinghies) from recycled plastic waste as a national flagship activity to raise awareness.

This project wants to stop the supply of plastic to the sea by spreading knowledge of the problem and engaging children and adults in the solutions. Plastic bottles, bags and other plastic litter has been collected by volunteers and this plastic will now be recycled and converted into optimist dinghies. SSPA´s experts are building them with support from Chalmers University of Technology and their researchers with knowledge in how to handle different plastic materials. 

- "SSPA is building models of different vessels on a daily basis. In this project our experts develop new methods that are not usually included in a boat building process and they also performing a proof-of-concept", says Christian Finnsgård, Head of Research at SSPA. "That we are building these dinghies from plastic litter has created media attention in Sweden", he continues.

Swedish Television: Optimistjollar byggs av skräp från havet (only in Swedish).

About the project

Optimist för havet (Optimist for the sea), is a three-year collaboration project. Children, young people and adults are engaged in various activities and education to raise awareness and develop knowledge about this environmental issue which everyone can help solving. 

During the summer of 2018, Optimist för havet worked with eight major sailing events on both the East and West Coast, including the Volvo Ocean Race. The project will also engage students at Chalmers University of Tecnology in developing innovative optimists from recycled ocean plastics. During 2019, the optimist dinghies will appear at various sailing races around Sweden where the public will have a chance to see them and take a tour. Optimist för havet will continue further in 2020. 

The project is run by Håll Sverige Rent, Sjöräddningssällskapet and Svenska Seglarförbundet with funding from Postkodlotteriet. National project website: optimistforhavet.se  (in Swedish)

Photos

Project Manager Sharon Emanuel from Håll Sverige Rent inspects a component being built by recycled ocean plastics. Photo: Anders Mikaelsson, SSPA.

Plastic bottles, bags and other plastic litter has been collected by volunteers and this plastic will now be recycled and converted into optimistic dinghies. Photo: Anders Mikaelsson, SSPA.
 
That we are building these dinghies from plastic litter has created media attention in Sweden. Link to Swedish Television