This week we are talking crap – no change there you may say – with the launch of a new initiative from environmental charity Surfers against Sewage designed as a call to arms for a mass protest about water companies polluting our waters and the Government not doing enough to prevent it.
Devised by agency Mr President, the activity is being led by the creation of a surfboard made entirely out of ocean waste, commissioned from sustainable designer and Benthos Surf owner Niall Jones.
The ‘Floater’ incorporates recycled materials to form the body of the board and raw sewage from the sea, which Jones turned into resin. To add impact, he has also included two transparent windows in the top of the board that display the two litres of sewage water contained within.
The sewage used to make the surfboard was collected from St Agnes and Godrevy after heavy rainfall in Cornwall which caused the systems to overflow.
Mr President creative Jake Smith, whose family lives in the small Cornish coastal village of Porthtowan, said: “The whole issue is a stinking mess, so we had to do something about it. It’s not just that it’s disgusting, but it’s the fact that it ruins peoples’ livelihoods, holidays and hobbies such as surfing. It’s something that can be fixed, but the people in charge take big bonuses instead of fixing the problem.
“We wanted to create something that raised awareness of the issue, an act of defiance and a middle finger to the polluters, from all the people who suffer. And that was how the ‘beautifully disgusting’ Floater was born.”
As part of the initiative, Mr President has created a video highlighting the extent of the sewage scandal in the UK, featuring footage of Ben Skinner, 11 times European Longboard Champion, and other surfers riding the waves on the Floater.
Surfers against Sewage is seeking to convert public outrage into action by staging a mass paddle-out protest against sewage pollution, featuring simultaneous events at beaches and rivers across the UK on Saturday May 20.
The Floater surfboard will officially launch at a flagship paddle-out protest in Brighton, with 11 other protests taking place around the country on the same day at key locations covering each water company catchment.
Swimmers, paddlers, surfers, canoers, kayakers, paddle-boarders, windsurfers – and anyone who cares about the health of their local blue spaces – are being urged to take to the water, beach or riverbank to make their demands heard.
Surfers Against Sewage is also publishing new research which reveals damning distrust in water companies amid ongoing outrage at the levels of pollution occurring in UK waterways.
Seven in ten (72%) consumers say the UK Government should be doing more to tackle sewage pollution. An even bigger proportion (85%) think water company regulators need to do more to make sure water companies reduce sewage pollution. Over two-thirds (69%) say sewage pollution puts them off going in the sea and rivers in the UK.
Surfers Against Sewage is also urging the public to sign its “Dirty Money” petition, which demands an end to water companies profiting from pollution.
The charity’s head of communications Josh Harris said: “We’re urging anyone who feels passionately about protecting our blue spaces to join us on May 20 as we rise up against the polluters and stage a mass paddle-out protest across the UK. Water companies are wreaking havoc and we refuse to stay silent.”
So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office?
Well, as blue space lovers, we applaud anything that will raise awareness of the damage being done to our rivers and seas, and, while this campaign may seem just like a one-off stunt, hopefully it will drive home the message that more needs to be done.
Admittedly, we rarely venture into the English Channel, and our local river, the Adur, is far too treacherous due to its tidal pull. However, for once, it is not just about us, it is about all the animals – and the watersports enthusiasts – that are affected by these scandalous practices.
Decision Marketing Adometer: A ‘going swimmingly’ 10 out of 10