MBA sponsors Pacific solo row to raise awareness of plastic waste in our oceans

MBA sponsors Elsa Hammond's solo pacific row

MBA CEO Nigel Hunton has made a personal donation of £1,000 to rower Elsa Hammond’s quest to row 2,400 miles across the Pacific from California to Hawaii. This impressive solo row, taking place in June 2014, is intended to raise awareness of the colossal amount of plastic waste clogging up our oceans and harming marine life. Money raised via the row will go to the Plastic Oceans Foundation, a charity working to combat the issue through a diverse range of educational projects and practical solutions.

Elsa, a PhD student at Bristol University, has always had a passion for adventure and the great outdoors. She unicycled across England in 2004 to raise money for a four-month expedition to Borneo, and has also sailed from Samoa to Fiji in six days as part of a two-man crew. While she is a confident rower, she’ll be learning new skills to contend with the open ocean, including navigation, chart work, and meteorology. Her Pacific solo row, alone in a 24-foot rowing boat, is expected to take three months.

Elsa Hammond training

“I’m delighted to be supporting Elsa’s solo row across the Pacific,” says Nigel Hunton, CEO, MBA Polymers. “It’s a brave and enterprising attempt to highlight a growing environmental problem which is entirely preventable. We wish her the best of luck and look forward to recycling any of the plastic waste Elsa brings back with her.”

The North Pacific Ocean is home to the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’, a concentrated area of plastic pollution the size of Texas. It can be described as a ‘plastic soup’ of billions of plastic particles. These particles attract toxins, and are ingested by birds, fish and other marine life – more than 250 species are known to have ingested or become entangled in plastic. (See Chris Jordan’s Midway Journey).

Elsa’s journey will take her south of the most concentrated area of plastic pollution, but she will still see a lot of plastic around her, even when she’s thousands of miles away from land. Other ocean rowers have reported seeing discarded plastic object bobbing around regularly while at sea. Elsa has vowed to rescue what plastic she can from the ocean during her row, with a view to recycling on her return and showing it in schools.

For more information on Elsa’s Pacific solo row or to help her raise money to tackle the plastic waste in our oceans, please visit: