Meet the Founders
Plastic Odyssey CEO Simon Bernard and his expedition co-leader Alexandre Dechelotte first met at the National Marine School in Marseille, France in their early 20s and it was their joint love of the ocean and mutual belief that humankind can do more when it comes to plastic pollution that the Plastic Odyssey idea was first born.
Over the past five years, Simon and Alexandre and their team identified and refitted the Plastic Odyssey research vessel, found partners to support them and outlined their overall project plan which includes a 3-year voyage around the world to key coastal cities where plastic pollution is particularly acute.
During each stopover, Plastic Odyssey’s main activity will be to bring 10 local entrepreneurs on board to train them on how to launch their own individual recycling facility in their home market. Each local entrepreneur will spend 15 days onboard to prototype recycled products, learn technical skills and meet business leaders to network with investors, local governments and others using the visibility and platform of Plastic Odyssey. The fundamental idea: create local business models that encourage and incentivize plastic recycling by re-using and re-making old plastics into new products that can be used locally.
“We want to tackle plastic pollution at its source in key coastal cities where so much of this plastic pollution is coming from,” said Bernard. “Recycling 1 out of 2 plastic waste in 20 countries would reduce plastic pollution in the ocean by half.”