Twenty two aspiring change-makers have returned from a long expedition along the Abel Tasman coastline - aboard kayaks made of over a thousand plastic bottles.
The young leaders, innovators and adventurers hailed from around the country, and spent three days kayaking in New Zealand's only coastal national park.
Among the crew was kiwi singer-songwriter and self-proclaimed ocean enthusiast Jamie McDell.
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Plastic Bottle Kayak co-leader Ajay Ravindran says the aim of the project is to make sustainability exciting and educational. The voyage was an example of kiwi ingenuity as well as environmental responsibility.
"It was simply phenomenal to be in the Abel Tasman, surrounded by the most beautiful coastline and bush this country has to offer, knowing that we had a powerful message to deliver," he says.
"To be able to explore the coastline on kayaks made out of plastic bottles, with some of the most inspiring young leaders in Aotearoa made it even more special. It was really exciting to be able to glide up to seals on our plastic bottle kayaks and battle waves and downpours. I loved every moment of it."
The "waste positive" project was conducted collaboratively by students and sustainability experts. Lessons were designed which worked with the current curriculum and gave school students the opportunity to be involved in every aspect of the adventure, including ecology, sustainability, social enterprise, video interaction with the kayak crews during their journey, writing messages to be included in the bottles, and naming the kayaks themselves.
Those students are now being encouraged to apply what they have learned from the Plastic Bottle Kayak team, not just in their schools but also in their communities, taking similar grassroots environmental action to enact positive change. The Plastic Bottle Kayak programme is organised in a way that means students always have access to support from visionary young leaders in their local regions.