Lifting the secret about the mysterious hopper


“Hey, what about the hopper for our plastic shredder? We still need to think about a solution for that”, Maria reminded me the other day. No, the hopper is not a particular species within the rabbit family. Nor is it some happy fella bouncing around the shredder full of excitement about plastic flakes popping out of it. Taking a wild guess, I would say that its name derives from plastic items hopping around inside it before the hungry shredder gets hold of them with its sharp metal teeth. I think, it’s one of my favorite names in the Precious Plastic terminology. It’s kinda cute and playful and surly catches people’s attention because they wonder what the heck you are talking about.


Recycling ocean trash sparks your creativity and is good for the planet



When we get IN MOCEAN, we try to reuse, recycle, upcycle or repurpose (can you come up with any other “re”s that I missed and could add to this list?) already existing materials or tools before we buy something new. It’s not only saving resources, it’s also fun and challenging and activates your creativity.

There is no walk on the beach, where one of us does not point at some colorful item polluting the pretty scenery. “Look, that’s a perfect bin for my paint cans!” or “wow, I can use this to stow my anchor chain” are common phrases we shout at each other from one end of the beach to the other. We might have even gone as far as eying the other’s collected treasure with a slight hint of envy. Yes, we get excited about plastic trash. You should, too, there are tons of things you can do with it!


Not too bad of an idea that does the job but looks a little “nah”

But back to the false rabbit… During one of these lovely beach walks, we found a potential hopper that was basically pre-produced. All it needed was a cut out at the bottom and maybe some slight trimming on the top sides. Just drill some holes in the bottom and “baam”, there’s a hopper. And it’s even matching our IN MOCEAN logo colour, it could hardly be any better.



We thought this was a pretty good find and a good enough solution for us. But mind the Swiss…Our boat neighbor and good friend Paul from SV Hierbabuena came by and we proudly presented him the new hopper. Ecstatic excitement surely looks different.



Let the Swiss do the job and you can be sure it get’s done well!

Paul is a great inventor and creator of all sorts of things. He’s built coffe cups and bowls from bamboo and calabash, a flute from a plastic tube, castañuelas from a piece of driftwood, lures from a floating stainless top of a fridge, and not to forget, the most precious wooden percussion spoons that he gifted me which I hold so dearly. well, you get the picture.

The other day, he announced that he had researched a new method to recycle / upcycle our collected plastic. “You simply weld pre-cut pieces together, as simple as that”, he announced. It sounded pretty straight forward. And guess what, when he saw our debatably pretty looking hopper, he grunted at it, turned around and was not seen again for a couple of days.


Buying things is easy, reclaiming things from the beach is a real adventure!



Actually, that’s not true. The four of us (Paul has an adorable furry friend named Luca) went to the beach the next day and in our usual manner, we sourced some plastic material from the beach to play with. Maybe Paul had something slightly easier in mind, but this particular plastic drum was just too pristine to walk by. It might have been inconveniently filled up to the rim with wet sand, but hey, you gotta earn it. After all, nothing is really for free in this world…

You might want to watch Paul’s video that he did about this endevour…it pretty much explains it all quite well.


The Hopper 2.0.! What an improvement



A couple of days later, Paul came over to Joana for a first fitting of the hopper. He wanted to make sure that everything was correctly sized and properly adjusted. He did the final welding on the spot using a soldering iron and some steel wool on the inside for some additional support.

Of course, Paul’s visit caused a bunch of highly technical and sophisticated chit chat on Joana. We were all eager to learn about this new to us recycling technique but of course all had our own two cents we wanted to add to the topic. Our thoughts automatically went wild, imagining all the cool things we could now make with this new rather easy method of bonding pieces of plastic together.



That’s one thing we particularly love about recycling: there are endless possibilities and it’s never ending fun to play around,  create new things and try out different methods. It never gets boring, promise! Just try it out yourself and you will see.


Oh and yes, okay, the Hopper does look wicked cool, way better than the old version, we admit it. 1:0 for the Swiss. Nice job, Paul, you upgraded the hopper from work clothes to cocktail dress status. The only thing missin, is a tiny bit of branding and then it will be “perfecto” as the locals say.





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