Plastic Soup Surfer

My name is Merijn Tinga and I am the Plastic Soup Surfer.
My journey in the fight against plastic started with a simple idea; if I could bring attention to the problem, then people would start to care.

In 2014, I built a surfboard using washed-up plastics and surfed it along the Dutch coast, earning my nickname: Plastic Soup Surfer. Sadly, I have found that awareness alone is not enough for change. Consequently, I started focusing my campaigns on policy makers and companies.                                         

To date, my campaigns and expeditions have influenced political resolutions and product bans. Proving that one person can make a difference. Together with an ever-growing army of passionate people, we continue to drive results and influence change. I share my story to inspire and teach others how they too can make a difference.

Support The Plastic Soup Surfer

Latest Expedition: Mission Reuse

In the Netherlands alone, 5 million disposable cups are used every morning. These 5 million cups are only used once before ending up in the incinerator, or worse, in our environment.

Put those 5 million disposable cups in a row and you have a line 385 km long.

In July 2022, I covered that exact distance, surfing from Brussels to Amsterdam, on a surfboard made of used disposable cups. While navigating inland waters I used a Fliteboard e-foil, and on open water, I utilized a wing made of old kitesurf kites.

The goal of my "Mission Reuse Expedition" was to fight for the adoption of reusable cups and the elimination of disposable cups. Disposable cups represent the disposable society we live in, showcasing the rampant waste and pollution it leads to. We have to and can get rid of it. To start with let's target the disposable cups. Reusable should be the new norm. 

Mission Reuse

Plastic pollution starts on land, so we need to tackle it at its source.

Surfing & politics

The record attempt crossing that led to deposits and a spectacular decrease in littering.

In 2017, the Plastic Soup Surfer forces a political breakthrough with a resolution he drafted himself. Bottle deposits lead to a major decline in littering. The record attempt kitesurf crossing of the North Sea – 180km from The Netherlands to England, on a board made from plastic bottles – is the kickstart to a petition for bottle deposits, and is signed by 60 thousand people.

See our results

Captains of industry

A +1000km SUP expedition on the river Rhine to confront the source of the plastic pollution: the producers

He confronts the CEOs of Coca Cola, Heineken, Pepsico, Spa and Dutch supermarkets using a bailiff and a judicial notice specially developed for this occasion. He takes along the plastic bottles he found in the river Rhine after having paddled it from its source, high up in the Alps down to its murky river mouth (>1000km). A campaign from source to sea and then back upstream to the source of the plastic pollution: The companies.

See all expeditions

Unite the fight

With the Dutch community of plastic activists and NGOs he organized a national conference on the future of plastics (2019). The resulting ‘Plastic Avengers Manifest’ states 5 principles to a ‘sustainable use of plastics’.

VP Frans Timmermans became the ambassador.

Read our vision

Read, listen, see more

The Plastic Soup Surfer believes storytelling is a powerful way to get the message across. Read the book, see our documentaries on the expeditions or listen to our podcast. All dedicated to change, sustainablity and how you can make a difference.

Book

I am not accusing the material, but the way we put it to use. Plastic is a catalyst to our throw-away society.

Will you support us?

Help out in our mission!

Support us!