Riding the recycling wave

After discovering more than 2,500 tons of cork stoppers are thrown away in Spain each year, social enterprise Richpeoplethings has found a nifty way to recycle them into surfboards.

As it's explained on the website, "because of the incredible physical and structural properties that cork has, it is an ideal floaty material to build surfboards. Cork can also withstand the marine environment." 

After the stoppers have been sorted through – only natural cork is used, no synthetic – they are arranged into hexagonal patterns and held by adhesives such as pine resin bees wax. This creates an arresting design akin to the formation of bees and their honeycombs.

Locals can join as 'corkllectors', dropping off any cork stopper finds at collection points all around Spain.

"From the beginning surfers have depended on nature to make their boards," says the company. 

"Over time, we have devolved, using materials that pollute the very ocean that we depend on. We can change that."