Changes in Plastic@Bay

An island move

Plastic@Bay are excited to announce that myself, Joan and Julien, co-founders and directors of Plastic@Bay have moved to the Isle of Lewis. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone from Durness and the NW Highlands that has supported us through the years. It’s been a wild ride. In the past five years we have removed tens of tonnes of plastic pollution from the NW Coast, and developed a low-tech recycling system. We have done numerous outreach programmes with the local schools, communities and passing tourists. We have had great collaborations with organisations all over the Highlands. Most of all we met amazing people and made lifelong friends. We would particularly like to thank all the volunteers, and Charlie for giving Plastic Lab a home to grow (featured picture, Joan and Julien at Plastic Lab, Durness, July 2022). 

Roz, our Volunteer Manager and Company director is still on the ground in Durness, organising beach cleans. We are actively using all the data we have collected from the area, to highlight the blight of ocean plastic pollution on the NW Coast with the authorities. Our long term aim is to develop the Coastal Ranger Service in the North West and beyond. 

We are also delighted to be welcomed by the active beach cleaning community on the Islands. We have joined the Scottish Island Federation Marine Litter Group. Rural remote communities along the NW Highlands share many challenges with the Island Communities. Both receive tonnes of ocean plastic generated from different marine industries, but lack the people power, resources and funding to adequately manage the problem. We hope that as a group we can work together to find solutions to these shared problems.

Two new Directors bring wealth of experience to Plastic@Bay Board

We are also excited to announce the addition of two new Directors to the Plastic@Bay team; Crawford Paris and Guillaume Pic-Rivière. These two highly qualified directors, bring with them a wealth of experience both in coastal remediation and low-tech recycling.

Crawford currently works as a Sustainability & Climate Change Officer at Aberdeen Council. He has a MSc in Environmental Partnership Management from the University of Aberdeen. For four years, Crawford was the driving force behind Turning the Plastic Tide (TTPT), East Grampian Coastal Partnership’s programme to raise awareness of marine plastic pollution and encourage greater participation in beach cleaning in the North East of Scotland. During his time, he facilitated the involvement of 3500 people in beach cleaning, resulting in the removal of 45,764kgs of pollution from the marine environment. He has designed and delivered numerous educational programmes to primary and secondary schools, as well as working closely with community groups, local authorities, nation-wide environmental charities, local MSPs and corporate bodies. Crawford is passionate about the environment and understands the gravity of the situation we face with regards to ocean plastic pollution, and challenges faced by beach cleaners today in Scotland. We are delighted that he is joining our board, no doubt his experience and input will strengthen our remediation strategy.

Crawford (right) and Conor Plastic@Bay Coastal Ranger (left) dislodging plastic in cliffs during the Summer of 2021. Crawford came to visit Plastic@Bay in Durness to see our work first hand and to share ideas.

Guillaume is passionate about sailing, and recognises the environmental impact of this industry. He has dedicated his life into reducing the footprint of sailing boats. His first project was to create a bio-sourced boat that was as biodegradable as possible, Oblatchka. He is a trained mechanical engineer from INSA-Rennes (France). Guillaume is now doing a masters in ship building architecture, his goal is to develop a method to make boats from recycled ocean plastic. He joined the Plastic@Bay team during the Summer 2020, to help Julien develop the first low-tech die1 prototypes. Funded by Plastic@Bay’s Innovate UK, Woman in Innovation Award in 2021, Guillaume’s developed a die system to make plastic lumber using our upgraded extrusion1 machine. Guillaume designed and built the die at INSA’s leading-edge metal workshop. Back in Plastic Lab, Scotland Julien has been prototyping the die and has successfully extruded ocean plastic. The system is in a testing phase.

Guillaume busy at Plastic Lab, Durness modifying a metal bar to use as part of our extrusion cooling system.

1We use Extrusion to create objects of a fixed cross-sectional profile. A material is pushed through a die of the desired shape. A die is a specialized machine tool used in manufacturing industries to cut and/or form material to a desired shape or profile. In our case we will extrude simple rectangular profiles to make plastic lumber, to make fence posts, garden furniture and other non-load-bearing construction material.