Two years ago I was invited to devise a green fitness event for the annual ‘Ullapool Feel Good Festival’ which encourages people to stay fit by taking part in outdoor activity sessions. I came up with the idea of making skipping equipment out of discarded fishing ropes, a transformation which tells the Marine Plastic Litter [MPL] story in a new and engaging way.
Our recycling story starts on a cold, dull day at the beginning of winter 2020 with volunteers braving the elements on Ross-shire beaches to collect the fishing ropes and nets that are constantly washed up on shore. More was collected during the hot summer days of 2021. Between collecting the material and the event itself, much work was done sorting, washing, drying and cutting the ropes ready to cast into skipping rope handles.
A key development in the story was joining forces with Julien and Joan of Plastic@Bay, who helped research, design and test the metal mould to cast the handles, and helped find finance for the first phase of the project.
The next location in our story was the Green Hive Workshop in Nairn, where the casting took place, another inspiring community recycling project, where I collaborated with Andy and his volunteers to make the handles. 15 sets of handles were produced for the Festival which took place a year after the story began, with people having fun, skipping on the harbour slipways, in the streets and at school with our Ocean Jump Ropes recycled out of Marine Plastic Litter.
The circular economy message will continue with each jump and telling of the story behind the skipping ropes.
We have had many requests from people to buy the Ocean Plastic Jump Ropes. We hope to be able to make more ropes this year so please leave a message if you would like to know when they are available.
We have had many requests from people to buy the Ocean Plastic Jump Ropes. We are looking for funding to improve the mould and casting process (it’s not easy) so we can more ropes this year, so please leave a message if you would like to know when they are available or if you would like to support us. Follow the ‘Recycling to Stay Fit’ story and event pictures on Instagram @juliabartonartist