In recent years, many individuals and groups are participating in trash-picking activities along rivers on their paddle boards.The majority of trash collected is made of plastic material like bottles, wrapping paper and cans.
These people have generated great results, if you think of the water birds that might be strangled by wrapping paper, or the turtles and whales that might be choked by plastics. However, as someone who works in the paddle board industry, I cast certain doubts on their achievements.
The need of inflatable boards is raising as paddle boarding gets more and more popular. Unlike hard boards, inflatables are light, easy to carry, easy to store and less expensive. Although companies usually offer inflatables a warranty period ranging from 1 to 3 years, as inflatables are prone to damage but also easier to fix ( glue can suffice most of the time), people who enjoy this activity will often invest in a new board in the next year. They love to try out new, fashionable models.
Then here comes the issue: INFLATABLES ARE MADE OF PLASTICS, TOO.
An average sized inflatable itself usually weighs 7-10 kg, or around 20 pounds. A plastic bottle's weight can be around 10 g to 60 g, that's a drastic comparison. It's possible to carry 300 bottles with the board, but there's not much room onboard.
Also, let's not forget the waste produced during the manufacture of inflatable boards. Most boards are made in less developed countries, where the laws and regulations on environmental protection are not as good. The factories there are not willing to, or not capable of dealing with the environmental impact of the production process.