Did you know there are 1,000 discarded car tyres in Plymouth Sound? Each and every one of them is slowly releasing micro-plastics into the sea. Luke is working with the SHIPS Project on a new campaign to lift and recycle every one of the tyres and this is where we need your help. The 1000 tyres project is crowd-funding support to get the project underway. You can donate to their campaign here.
The 1000 tyres project is a simple idea: using the high-powered sonar data held by Plymouth University and the SHIPS project we know the location of every single discarded tyre in the sound. Each tyre will be numbered and the data put on a website. Divers who regularly dive in Plymouth Sound will be encouraged to dive for these tyres, safely lifting them and then placing them on a special jetty for safe recycling. Each tyre lifted will be tagged and removed from the online portal so divers know what tyres are left in play for lifting
This project really does show Plymouth at its best. It started in a workshop around the formation of the Plymouth Sound National Marine Park where the SHIPS team – who focus on marine archaeology – noted there were a lot of tyres that was getting in the way of seeing the shipwrecks on the seabed in the sound. The idea was born! The 1000 tyres project has the support of local marine businesses and it needs your support too.
If this project works then I hope the same approach can be rolled out nationwide. There are millions of old tyres in the sea. Some have been dumped illegally, some used as weights on fishing gear and some used as fenders on boats. However they got into the sea, they’re damaging our fragile marine environment an releasing micro-plastics.
It is not enough for us to protect and value the waters off Plymouth with the Plymouth Sound National Marine Park designation, I also want to see us clean up the waters. There are centuries of discarded items in the sound from cannonballs and shipwrecks – which should stay in place – to mislaid cables and car tyres that should be lifted and recycled.
Luke had this to say:
“I want to thank the team at SHIPS for their leadership of this project. I’m really proud to be supporting them and proud that the unique combination of Plymouth’s diving community, our science community and marine businesses have come together to make this project happen. But for the tyres to be lifted, we need to hit the crowdfunder target. I’ve donated and I want to ask you to do the same too.”