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Plastic Ocean Festival 2017 and into 2018


This year's Plastic Ocean Festival had 10 events between April and September and each one had good engagement and attendance. The earlier events were on canals and were stand-alone events and the later ones were on the Thames and part of bigger events including Tidefest, the Foreshore Festival, Barnes Film Festival and the Totally Thames Festival. Venues ranged from outdoor cinema screens, bars, cafes, a community centre, a floating classroom and the London Aquarium. Around 400 people have participated and helped to remove over 5000 litter pieces from London's waterways. In 2018 Plastic Ocean Festival is set grow with more films, new venues and more events.

We are developing several projects to change behaviour and reduce plastic in London’s waterways. These are all projects with plenty of scope for people to get involved and bring their skills and ideas to help. We will also seek to engage companies based in London as part of their Corporate Responsibility work which could include staff getting involved and deploying their skills and experience and also helping with funding.

The first of these is a Responsible Pubs scheme to encourage pubs to behave more responsibly with single use plastic - particularly phasing out straws and single use plastic glasses. This project is targeted at riverside pub owners and also party boat owners initially (as our main driving force is our to greatly reduce the growing tide of plastic in the Thames). But of course any pub, bar and restaurant will be welcome to join if they can commit to making a significant reduction in their use of plastic. We will achieve this by providing help to make changes in the form of advice on costs and operational issues, training pub staff to understand why this is necessary and promotion of the best practice.

We thank all Plastic Ocean Festival participants for taking part in our events this year, and we hope to see both old and new faces on the water in 2018 as well.  

Foreshore Festival

We have had a fantastic day this year's Foreshore Festival with both beginner and experienced paddlers joining us, including Bill Bailey who has recently launched his own SUP brand, the amazing Billboard SUP


During the almost 9km trip from Kew to Putney the main focus was on the safe journey, nevertheless, paddlers were able to collect 134 pieces of litter from the Thames using their Starboard Trash Pickers.



As always, thank you all for coming!

Starboard Trash Picker


We have some awesome giveaways from Starboard!

Every participant on this Saturday's SUP 'Paddle & Pick' will receive a Trash Picker made from recycled plastic. You can attach it to your paddle and easily remove litter items like floating plastic bags or packaging.

We can also snap your picture which you can post on social media using #StarboardWorldCleanup to win an Inflatable SUP and a 2-piece paddle. 

For more information visit our Event page. 

See you on the water! 

Tidefest - Plastic Ocean Festival

Our seventh Plastic Ocean Festival event was a great success this Sunday. Volunteers helped to remove 647 pieces of litter from the River Thames. Our survey result showed that food wrappers came on top once again as the most abundant litter item in the Thames.



We have also had a visit from the local MP Ruth Cadbury. 


The screening of ‘A Plastic Ocean was also very successful with the chairman of the Oxfordshire Federation Of Womens Institute also attending. They have found the documentary to be a real eye opener.


Following the screening we have had a long and engaging Q&A session with the attendees where we discussed the issue of plastic pollution not just worldwide but in London, and were able to highlight what each individual can do to help the environment.

Our next event will be held on the 23rd September during this year's Foreshore Festival. Follow the link to find out more. 

Plastic Ocean Festival September events

Although the summer might be over, you can still come and enjoy London's waterways during our four upcoming events this month.

Come along this Friday for the screening of the award-winning 'A Plastic Ocean' documentary at SEA LIFE London starting at 7pm. 


Also this week, on Sunday the Tidefest, London's biggest and best foreshore festival, will take place at Brentford Boating Arch. Tickets are still available for both the Paddle & Pick session and 'A Plastic Ocean' film screening. Tickets for a guided SUP Eco Tour are also available via Active360 (from 1pm-3pm £20pp).


The Foreshore Festival will be held on Saturday 23rd September at Putney Embankment. 'Paddle & Pick' and SUP taster sessions will be running from 8:30am. Tickets will be available soon via Active360.


And our last event for this year will be  part of the Barnes Film Festival on Saturday 30th September.  You can book your ticket for both the 'Paddle & Pick' sessions and the film screenings through our Event page


We look forward to see you on one of our events this month! 

Merchant Square - Plastic Ocean Festival

Our latest event was a huge success with documentary screenings and SUP 'Paddle & Pick' sessions. During the four clean-up sessions volunteers helped to remove 1038 pieces of litter from the canal!

Thank you everyone for attending, especially some of our partners! Check out our Gallery for more pictures.

The top 10 items of litter collected yesterday (click to enlarge):

Our litter survey results continue to show that plastic food wrappers are the dominant find in the Grand Union Canal. 

Billboard SUP launch

The team were delighted to take part in the awesome Bill Bailey's Billboard SUP launch this week. 

Billboard SUP - Born on the River Thames.

"We all started paddle boarding, on the Thames in London and absolutely loved it! The boards we were using were either unstable or really slow. We wanted a board that could hold all the gear for the great adventures we had in mind, and yet be stable and fast, but could not find the right board. One day we spoke about making our own board. And so the idea of Billboard SUP was born."

- Bill Bailey, The Calm Paddler

Paul Bill