Dhruv Boruah is a local celebrity in London: when people see him riding his floatable bike fishing out litter from the city’s canals he receives encouragement from curious onlookers.
The former consultant built his own bamboo water bike with two fishing nets hooked on both sides to collect plastic waste because he wanted people to know that the pollution problem starts in “our backyard” and eventually ends up on “our dinner plate”.
“I had to come up with a wacky campaign, this fast life and takeaway culture we disconnect from mother nature.”
Boruah started his project this time last year after a yacht race from London to Rio de Janeiro where he says he saw a lot of plastic in the middle of the ocean.
“Another team had to stop racing to go and rescue two turtles who were stuck in fishing nets and plastic bottles.”
Boruah said his collecting bags are full of discarded plastic after about an hour to 90 minutes cycling. The items he picks up range from Styrofoam food containers to full milk bottles and “loads of cups”.
In the UK, 5.5 billion plastic bottles go unrecycled every year, according to a UK environmental audit committee in 2017.
But is this enough? Boruah doesn’t think so. He said that we should start thinking about solutions to the problem as just collecting litter is not enough.