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Waste Plastic Floats Scotch & Soda’s Boat

Fashion brand Scotch & Soda and environmental group Plastic Whale built this boat using PET bottles recovered from the canals of Amsterdam.

Norbert Sparrow

June 4, 2021

Global fashion brand Scotch & Soda, based in Amsterdam, is a longtime partner of Plastic Whale, which collects and recycles waste plastic bottles from the city’s iconic canals and uses them to build boats. To honor World Environment Day on June 5, they collaborated to fashion this vessel, the Free Spirit of Amsterdam, sporting the Scotch & Soda brand colors.

It typically requires approximately 5,000 PET bottles for Plastic Whale to make the boats, which take up to three months to build. The Scotch & Soda boat includes some novel design features: The deck is made from a mosaic of around 900 black plastic bottle caps collected from the canals, mixed with golden brass buttons left over from Scotch & Soda sample collections. Measuring 5.5 x 2.2 meters (18 x 7 feet) and weighing 1,000 kilos (1.1 tons), the Free Spirit of Amsterdam is powered with an electric motor and can carry up to eight people.

Starting June 12, Scotch & Soda customers can book fishing trips on the boat during the summer.

Plastic Whale currently has a fleet of 13 boats made with recycled plastic fished from the Amsterdam canals and Rotterdam harbor. In 2019, the group collected around 50,000 plastic bottles from the three main canals of Amsterdam.

About the Author(s)

Norbert Sparrow

Editor in chief of PlasticsToday since 2015, Norbert Sparrow has more than 30 years of editorial experience in business-to-business media. He studied journalism at the Centre Universitaire d'Etudes du Journalisme in Strasbourg, France, where he earned a master's degree.


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