ULYSSE NARDIN PARTNERS WITH PLASTIC ODYSSEE, A THREE YEAR ROUND-THE-WORLD EXPEDITION TO REDUCE PLASTIC POLLUTION IN OUR OCEANS.
The Plastic Odyssey ship, which will leave the port of Marseille on 1 October 2022 on a three-year journey, will travel 40,000 nautical miles and make 30 stopovers in
the countries most affected by plastic pollution. Plastic Odyssey will begin its mission in the coastal cities of the Mediterranean before setting sail for West Africa, Latin
America, Asia-Pacific and, finally, East Africa.
“Today, although there is a system in place for recycling plastic, only a few manufacturers have access to the necessary knowledge and the solutions are not widely
available or very affordable. Plastic Odyssey’s challenge is to identify simple and inexpensive innovations that can be introduced, enhanced and made freely
available so that they can be developed and made accessible to as many people as possible.” Simon Bernard, CEO of Plastic Odyssey
“Plastic Odyssey has examined and unlocked the issues related to plastic pollution in our Ocean. Their desire to share their inventions and knowledge freely with the
entire world shows great generosity and a genuine desire to protect our planet.” Patrick Pruniaux, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Ulysse Nardin
“‘Cleaning up the past’ by encouraging the recycling of existing plastic and ‘building the future’ by reducing the production of waste” – that is the mission of
Simon Bernard, CEO of Plastic Odyssey.
This long, round-the-world voyage will be manned by a full crew: seven deck crew members, seven technical and scientific experts, three media reporters and two
external guests will embark together on the Plastic Odyssey adventure. At each of the 30 stopovers, they will take tangible actions for three weeks to roll out
Thanks to the Plastic Odyssey Village - a travelling village designed to raise awareness - these guardians of the Ocean will meet the populations in order to alert
them to the dangers of plastic pollution and to present alternative solutions.
Furthermore, through discussions with local inhabitants, Plastic Odyssey will launch the first global social sciences study to understand the habits and behaviors
of different populations with regard to the use of plastic, which will foster the development of knowledge intended to equip the scientific and political communities.
On board the boat
The Plastic Odyssey ship has been split into two parts. The front of the boat – the plastic-free zone – is dedicated to exhibiting alternative solutions to plastic,
while the rear of the vessel is set aside for the recycling laboratory. One of the main missions of this laboratory will be to welcome a dozen local business
figures for training on how to set up a plastic recycling centre using the machines on board the boat and the plastic waste collected on land.
To fight plastic pollution in these regions in the long term, Plastic Odyssey will provide entrepreneurs with a container containing a ready-to-use micro-factory
that will allow them to recycle more than one ton of plastic per year and develop a local recycling center. Thus, this model has the advantage of being viable,
sustainable while creating jobs.
Last but not least, Plastic Odyssey will be able to convert the non-recyclable waste into fuel for their continued journey around the globe by means of pyrolysis.
This is a process by which plastic is heated without oxygen to break down the long (solid) polymer molecules and turn them into lighter molecules (liquids, then
gases). One kilogramme of plastic can make up to one litre of fuel for a diesel engine
Simon Bernard, a Merchant Navy Officer and the cofounder of Plastic Odyssey, has been
passionate about environmental causes from a very young age and always wanted to become
an ‘inventor’. As soon as he got back from Dakar, Simon was reminded of all the city’s
ingenious ways of recycling aluminium cans, but soon realised that plastic processing was
Shortly after, in 2017, the Plastic Odyssey project was born and saw the construction of the
first prototype boat named Ulysse, which incorporated a pyrolyser to convert plastic waste
into fuel. The construction of the 40-metre-long Plastic Odyssey ship began in 2020 to finally
set sail on October 1, 2022.