The Plastic Odyssey project
Plastic Odyssey is an expedition around the world to reduce the Ocean’s plastic pollution. For 3 years, a team of explorers will travel across the globe aboard an extraordinary 40-meter research vessel converted into a plastic recycling laboratory propelled by plastic waste.
Sailors, engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, craftsmen, artists, citizens… 20 explorers will embark on board the Plastic Odyssey, and their mission is to seek solutions to wring the neck to plastic pollution. These explorers are heading toward 3 continents and 30 regions of the world that are particularly hit by plastic pollution (the Mediterranean Basin, Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia). Their goal? To develop local plastic recycling companies across the globe, create jobs, and offer local communities an alternative way of living, one that is free of plastic.
What if Plastic Odyssey Was Several Islands?
Plastic Odyssey, is it, therefore, a vessel? Or an Odyssey? Perhaps it is both! From the island of its set of technologies to the isle of its scientific research, while not forgetting the experimentation nor the awareness island, we are taking you on a journey to discover the wonders of Plastic Odyssey.
Welcome aboard! The Plastic Odyssey vessel is the first ship that can either transform plastic waste into fuel or convert it into other objects thanks to recycling. Conceived as a laboratory to develop innovative solutions, it carries onboard both a plastic recycling workshop and zero-waste living areas, such as the kitchen, cabins, and several workspaces. These areas, equipped with either natural or recycled materials, were designed for the crew not to produce any plastic waste.
The ship will travel to 3 continents and stop in 30 cities, meeting people from all over the world, with one objective: to inspire citizens and develop plastic recycling centers across the globe.
Launch of the expedition in Dunkirk, next spring!
The Technology Island
First stop: the technology island! Plastic Odyssey develops plastic recycling technologies. The particularity of these machines? They are both patent-free and low-tech, which means that they are built with accessible materials, designed to be easily repairable, and conceived to operate with very little energy. They enable different stages of plastic recycling, such as shredding, the fabrication of new objects (such as building materials like bricks, plates, tubes, furniture, etc.), and plastic’s conversion into fuel, the very last resort for non-recyclable plastics.
These technologies will be embarked on board the vessel and will face strong developments and improvements throughout the expedition. At each stopover, the engine room will be open to local entrepreneurs so that these technologies can be replicated and adapted locally. We aim to enable as many people as possible to recycle plastic waste locally, by making the plastic sorting and recycling technology plans available to everyone, free of charge.
Join us during our tour de France to discover our recycling workshop.
The Island of Social Entrepreneurship
There is no doubt that the fight against plastic pollution cannot succeed without local economic development in countries most affected by plastic pollution.
Welcome to the island of Social Entrepreneurship. Plastic Odyssey supports the development of small plastic recycling companies in developing regions. Its aim? To generate local employment by encouraging and offering local communities its expertise while helping these regions stimulate their autonomy.
This expedition will allow Plastic Odyssey’s crew to share its recycling knowledge with local communities most affected by plastic pollution. The team will also be able to meet innovative recycling entrepreneurs from all over the world to discover their work, learn about new successful initiatives, and develop new economically viable and replicable models.
The Island of Awareness Raising
To effectively fight against plastic pollution, it has become urgent to act at every level, being political, industrial, social. But how to encourage citizens to engage in a crisis that overwhelms us all?
Welcome to our 3rd island: the island of awareness-raising! The “Plastic Odyssey” Village is a nomadic space of awareness-raising on plastic pollution, designed without any new plastic. It contains scientific information on everyday waste, simple tools to observe the surrounding pollution, machines to easily transform plastic waste into useful objects, and solutions from all over the world to reduce our use of plastic.
Embarked on board the vessel throughout the expedition, the nomadic village is to be deployed at each stopover, as it aims to be accessible to the general public.
The Research Island
To fight against plastic pollution in the long term, we must rethink our entire model of society. But where to start?
Welcome to Plastic Odyssey’s Research Island! Plastic Odyssey is conducting an international research program in the humanities and social sciences to answer questions we have all been asking ourselves. How can one reduce its plastic footprint? How can we sustainably change our use and behaviors towards plastic? And how do we come to consume so much plastic?
At each stage of the expedition, Plastic Odyssey will conduct a survey and ask residents about their perceptions and uses of plastic. This data, collected throughout 30 countries and 3 continents, will then be analyzed by a committee of researchers in the human and social sciences (sociologists, geographers, psychologists, philosophers) who aims to answer these questions.
The Island of Experimentation
Over the years, Plastic Odyssey has built a solid knowledge in the quest for solutions for a world free of plastic. Today, we wish to share this knowledge with as many people as possible. To do so, Plastic Odyssey is conducting two public experimentation programs:
Plastic Odyssey Lab
Onboard the vessel and for several weeks, the team will welcome local entrepreneurs from all over the world, to help them develop plastic waste recycling solutions. They will be able to benefit from Plastic Odyssey’s expertise to develop a viable business model around their solution, thanks to the set of recycling technologies made available by the vessel’s engineers.
To get on board, apply here!
To find out more: click here
Whether you are an industrialist, an entrepreneur, or a citizen, Plastic Odyssey enables you to embark on a unique journey and become a key player in global change. How to get involved? Plastic Odyssey will be running an educational program at the beginning of the school year to offer young people the key actions and solutions to understanding and taking part in the fight against plastic pollution. This program will enable one to follow the expedition, interact with its crew members, but it will also enable one to experiment with plastic-free solutions at one’s school or home, and exchange with youth also involved in the program across the globe.
They Enable This Journey to Be
Different islands, a laboratory vessel, several explorers, a unique world to explore… And yet, that is not all. Plastic Odyssey is also a great community of passionate minds who share the desire to build a world free of plastic in the Ocean. Plastic Odyssey is supported by many key players involved in different realms, such as experts of plastic pollution or recycling, researchers in human and social sciences, private companies, and foundations. Our support committee does not only surrounds and advises us, but it contributes to making our ambitions and journey possible. Our support committee supports us on several layers, which include the following:
- Recycling techniques to give value to waste
- Specificities and challenges of waste management in developing countries
- Logistical organization of such an expedition
- Ways to share knowledge in open-source
- The creation and development of social entrepreneurship
- Social science data collection
The presentation of each of our experts and their scope of action is coming soon!
Plastic Odyssey was on the agenda at this year's IUCN World Conservation Congress, an exceptional event that takes place once every four years....
Discover the story of the second stop of the Plastic Odyssey Village Tour de France....
A swimsuit created by Vilebrequin from plastics recovered by local Mediterranean fishermen!...