RNLI could turn decommissioned lifeboats into keyrings

The move is part of a wider plan to become more sustainable and to raise money

RNLI-D class lifeboat (Photograph: RNLI/Nathan Williams)
RNLI-D class lifeboat (Photograph: RNLI/Nathan Williams)

Parts from decommissioned lifeboats could be turned into keyrings under a drive by the RNLI to become more sustainable and raise money.

Students at the Royal College of Art in London were challenged to transform non-recyclable materials from lifeboats that have reached the end of their working lives into fundraising and promotional items.

Among the items created were keyrings (right) that face-to-face fundraisers could give as gifts and decorative brooches for sale in RNLI shops.

Other ideas included an inflatable water bottle, a necklace that floats in water and a frisbee.

Anna Frizzell, sustainability manager for the RNLI, said: "We’ll now look at these ideas to see which options we could use in the future.

keyringsPhoto credit: Royal College of Art

"As a charity, we’re committed to ensuring our supporters’ donations are spent wisely, and if we’re able to re-use materials for other purposes we can ensure that money goes further."

The initiative is part of the RNLI's goal of sending zero waste to landfill by 2024.

So far this year, the charity has swapped plastic cups and plastic spoons for more sustainable alternatives at its headquarters, resulting in 198,000 plastic spoons and 172,000 plastic cups no longer being sent to landfill each year.

It has also switched from plastic bags to paper bags in its shops.

An RNLI spokeswoman said that on average 14 D-class lifeboats, which the students used for this project, come to the end of their service life each year.

Ten of these, on average, are deemed still seaworthy and are re-used as boarding boats to get from land to on-water moorings. Four are decommissioned.

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