Plastic Soup Surfer

My name is Merijn Tinga and I am the Plastic Soup Surfer.

In 2014, I built a surfboard using washed-up plastics and surfed it along the Dutch coast, earning my nickname: Plastic Soup Surfer. Since then, I'm focusing my campaigns on policy makers and companies.

To date, my campaigns and expeditions have influenced political resolutions and product bans. 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.

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windsurfer tower bridge thames - finish Oslo-London expedition returning plastic litter to Westminster

2023 Oslo-London Windsurf Expedition

I windsurfed from Oslo to London June 17th to July 19th. I returned England’s littered plastic bottles to London Westminster along with lessons learned about Deposit Return Systems, which I handed over to UK minister Lord Benyon. 

I will be back in september to hand over a letter to the responsible minister mrs. Rebecca Pow about the urgency of a good deposit law that leaves no room for subversion by the packaging industry. Please sign that letter. More signed letters means more pressure on the process of designing the law.


Deposit systems are the most effective way to combat litter at it’s source. The UK government plans to introduce deposits on plastic bottles and cans by October 2025, however a plan has yet to be defined. I know from my own experience how influential the opposition from supermarkets and other corporations can be, so it’s critical that an effective law be written and instituted

To aid the development of the UK law, I collected lessons learned from the countries I visited along my route.

In partnership with the World Wildlife Fund and Surfers against Sewage, I will hand them over to Minister mrs. Rebecca Pow in London as Message in a Bottle, together with the signed letters.

Oslo-London Expedition

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.


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

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