London-Paris expedition 2024

Allez Allez La France, instaurez la consigne! - Come on France, introduce deposit money!

After the Oslo-London expedition 2023, I've been surfing and supping this 2024 summer from London to Paris to promote deposits on plastic bottles and cans.

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Campaign for disposit systems in Europe

Windsurfing and supping from London to Paris, short docu from Eelke Dekker

The Oslo-London expedition 2023 was the first major action by which I committed to expanding deposit schemes in Europe. Deposits are the best way to prevent litter and enable reuse of resources. This summer I've been moving on: from London to Paris.
With high-profile expeditions, like the surfing trip Oslo-London (1800 km), I use to get a lot of media attention, which helps getting in touch with politicians and give them a big push in the right direction.

Surfing and supping to the Eiffel Tower

On June 22, I left London on a windsurf expedition to Paris with an alternative Olympic Torch, containing plastic litter bottles. I crossed the English Channel windsurfing, surfed to La Havre and continued supping to Paris, where I arrived at July 11th. 

In Paris I've been welcomed by Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris. I handed her our alternative Olympic Torch and called for 'consigne' (bottle deposits) in France.

Conference on reducing litter

On the day of my arrival in Paris, July 11th, together with the Académie du Climat, we organised a conference on reducing litter, where I have been discussing the introduction of a deposit return scheme with all French stakeholders. I showed video messages from former Ministers and politicians who succesfully introduced deposit return schemes in their countries.

More info: Flyer (French), Website (French).

Paris Declaration

I drafted the "Paris Declaration" for the Conference, a petition calling for the rapid introduction of deposit return schemes. This Declaration was signed by the City of Paris, among others, a great result!

A task force of municipalities, industry and NGOs is being set up as a result of the conference to work out the next steps to introduce deposits in France. The city of Paris and renowned French deposit ambassador Arthur Germain are taking the lead in this effort.

Deposit leads to a quick litter reduction

graph showing the results of the Introduction of deposits in the Netherlands

As with the Oslo-London expedition, the main goal is to promote a bottle deposit system. Deposits are the best way to combat litter. In the Netherlands, litter from plastic bottles and cans was reduced by 80% in a short period of time when deposits were placed on them.

Other goals include:
- raise awareness of the litter problem
- promote the reuse of materials
- highlight innovations in the field of reuse
- demonstrate best practices in the field of litter control and recycling

The Torch

The alternative Olympic Torch that I will present to the mayor in Paris was designed and made by Maria Koijck, a well-known Dutch artist who works extensively with litter.

The torch resembles the Olympic Torch and is made of transparent plastic filled with two plastic litter bottles. On june 12, the torch has been handed over to me by Olympic Champion windsurf Kiran Badloe.

Biodegradable Mycelium Surf Board

My board is made of recycled and degradable materials:

  • Plastic bottles I found in the River Thames (London) and the River Seine (Paris)
  • Recycled polystyrene foam (EPS)
  • Mycelium: Ultra thin mushroom threads that make long connections and grow into a rock-solid degradable layer - this network of mycelium threads holds the bottles and styrofoam together to shape the board
  • A skin of waterproof bio-based epoxy

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