Merijn Tinga crosses the North Sea on a soda bottle-shaped foilboard

September 6, 2016 | Kiteboarding
Merijn Tinga: he crossed the North Sea, and he wants to ban plastic bottles in the Netherlands

Merijn Tinga has completed a North Sea kite cross between Scheveningen, in the Netherlands, and Lowestoft, in England.

The Dutch kitesurfer, also known as Plastic Soup Surfer, rode a recycled foil kiteboard in the shape of a soda bottle built by Bram Hoogendijk. Tinga wants to raise awareness about plastic pollution in marine waters.

The 178-kilometer adventure took five hours and 36 minutes to complete. Tinga, who is a biologist, wants Netherlands to implement a law that charges a deposit fee for half-liter drink bottles.

"I want a ban on the deposit-free polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle. The number of soda bottles you find on the beach is incredible," explained Merijn Tinga.

But the new Guinness world record was also celebrated in England. Sue Kinsey, the senior pollution officer at the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), hopes Tinga's plea reaches the British parliament.

"Litter is pretty much a problem all the way around the UK coast. We want to see a deposit system here, too. We find so much litter when we do our big beach clean. We know that kind of litter is about 10 per cent of the litter we find," notes Kinsey.

Small single-use water bottles are being banned all over the world. In the Netherlands, you can spot 16 plastic bottles caps per hundred meter of beach.