Three Cornish businesses are collaborating to upcycle waste sailcloth to help clean our beaches.

Currently, 97% of sails end up in a landfill or are incinerated at the end of their life.

A new collaboration between social enterprise Waterhaul, Ocean Republic, and Clean Sailors’ ReSail initiative will see waste sails collected and upcycled into reusable beach cleaning bags – ready to tackle even more plastic pollution.

Waterhaul produces beach cleaning equipment including litter pickers and bag hoops, made from 100% recycled plastic fishing gear collected from the British coastline. These tools are put to good use by over 10,000 litter pickers and community groups all across the UK. However, the missing link until now, was a durable and reusable alternative to single-use bin bags.

Rory McKellar from Ocean Republic said: “I’d admired the work Waterhaul does, transforming this problem of plastic pollution into part of the solution with their recycled litter pickers.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to be able to use my expertise around upcycling and Clean Sailors collection programme, to be part of this impact. The ocean for me is something I’ve always been in love with. I live in it, swim in it, surf in it, and I think we should all protect it.”

The upcycled sail bags are designed to be a perfect fit for Waterhaul’s recycled bag holding hoops – which hold the bag open for easy litter picking. Each of these hoops are made from 330 grams of recycled fishing nets and ropes.

Waterhaul CEO, Harry Dennis, said “We’re really excited to be tackling a new waste stream, whilst finding a solution for beach cleaners – and to be doing so by working together with other Cornish businesses.”

Holly Manvell, founder of Clean Sailors, added: “We are super excited to deepen our partnerships with Waterhaul and Ocean Republic. Aside from being super teams, we firmly stand alongside their missions for transforming perceived waste materials into new, useful products.”

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