A former commercial saturation diver has been recognised by the Prime Minister with a Points of Light award for his outstanding contribution to the community.
Alasdair Mitchell founded Ocean Plastic Pots in 2020 to contribute to the circular economy, recycling discarded fishing gear into plant pots that can be recycled again.
As a diver, Mr Mitchell said he witnessed the damage that plastic waste can inflict on the ocean and marine life and was inspired after salvaging a ship full of plastic off the West coast of Scotland during lockdown.
He began collecting marine waste with the intention of recycling it into plant pots in his garden shed, with demand quickly seeing him line up a Scottish manufacturer to increase production.
Boris Johnson told Mr Mitchell: “You have seen first-hand as a diver the damage to our ocean life caused by plastic.
“So, I was inspired to learn of how you have turned your passion for preserving marine life into a brilliantly innovative business.
“By converting discarded fishing gear and rope into Ocean Plastic Pots, you are clearing Scotland’s beautiful coastline and cutting down on plastic waste.
“It is brilliant that you were honoured by the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and I am also delighted to recognise your work.”
Mr Mitchell said he was overwhelmed and thoroughly pleased to receive the accolade, he said: “My aim was to develop a recyclable plant pot from a waste material that created a circular economy.
“Ocean Plastic Pots can be used to grow plants that benefit our environment and can be used as an educational tool to grow awareness of the Ocean Plastic Problem.”
Jackson Carlaw CBE, MSP for Eastwood, said: “Alasdair’s work and the success of Ocean Plastic Pots is remarkable.
“It is vital that we restore and protect our oceans and it is through the ingenuity displayed by people such as Ally that this can be accomplished. He should be incredibly proud of his achievements.”