The Thames Project is using a unique mode of transportation to engage the public in helping to clean up the waterways and to raise awareness of plastic waste.
The Thames Project founder Dhruv Boruah has created a floating bicycle which he cycles on rivers and canals collecting plastic waste.
The London-based adventurer constructed the floating bicycle using a bamboo bicycle, then putting yellow floats on either side, and adding a rudder and a pedal-powered propeller to the front. With a fishing net hooked on either side, he began cycling on the city’s river and canals collecting plastic waste.
On voyage, the floating bicycle’s nets are often filled with single-use plastic items such as styrofoam containers and water bottles. These get broken down into tiny microplastics over time that not only pollute the oceans, but also affect the air and food.
No doubt the floating bicycle gets people stopping in their tracks and talking when they see Dhruv Bourah cycling on the likes of the Regents Canal and the Grand Union Canal, as well as the River Thames, which is the exact outcome he desires.
Dhruv Bourah’s main motivation is not to singlehandedly rid London’s waterways of plastic – that’s too big a task for one man on a floating bicycle – but to make everyone aware about the dangers of plastic pollution and inspire them to take action.
Even when he’s not on water, the environmentalist works with councils, businesses and communities to educate and encourage them to take action against plastic pollution.
The former management consultant decided to quit his city career and begin campaigning about the dangers of plastic waste after witnessing plastic pollution while competing in a yacht race from London to Rio de Janeiro.
Dhruv Boruah has now cycled more than 300 miles along the Thames, Grand Union Canal and Regents Canal. Since October, he has retrieved 350kg of waste from the waterways.
Images: © Dhruv Boruah
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea