Norcros Adhesives employee on a mission to clean up the oceans
Protection of the natural environment has always been top of the list of priorities for Norcros Adhesives – that is how the company has three times won the TTA Award for Best Environmental Initiative.
One company employee has gone one step further, using his skills and experience as a scuba diver to assist with the major challenge of cleaning up our oceans and fresh water courses. Ben Hadaway has recently been promoted to the position of Laboratory Manager in recognition of his achievement of Level 3 Diploma in Leadership and Management, as well as his commitment and success as Laboratory Supervisor. When not running the busy QC and development laboratory, he is a Speciality Instructor at Vivian Dive Centre in Llanberis.
Through his enthusiasm for diving, Ben got involved in Project AWARE, an international non-profit organization which aims to connect the passion for ocean adventure with the purpose of marine conservation. This is a highly topical cause, as the state of the planet’s oceans and other water courses has been very high profile recently.
As Ben says: “150 million metric tons of plastic is currently circulating round our oceans which is a tremendous level and this is constantly rising. In the future there will be more plastic than fish in our seas. The oceans are a vital part of the planet’s ecosystem, so we need to do what we can to eliminate single-use end-of-life plastic and clean up what remains in the oceans”.
Project AWARE carries out regular underwater “litter picking” events, which aim to rid oceans and lakes of plastic and other contaminants that can be harmful to wildlife. Ben teaches courses on behalf of the organisation, where diving enthusiasts can learn how to document and how to clean the ocean efficiently whilst also enjoying their dive. Ben always carries a mesh bag with him even on fun dives, so if he sees any litter he is able to take it away and document where it’s been found. He aims to get people into similar habits, so that they pick up litter and other contaminants.
However the work has been seriously interrupted since March 2020. As Ben says: “COVID-19 had a great impact on the Scuba diving industry in a number of ways. Most of the diving centres around the UK have been closed. It was also deemed as higher risk due to buddies having to share regulators in emergency situations and for simple buddy checks. Divers are taught from day one that we should look after the ocean and all its inhabitants, so when COVID struck it meant that most people put diving on hold, which halted all the conservation activities. Teaching began to take place again over the autumn but it proved to be very difficult as scuba diving requires a lot of close contact in order to make it safe.”
Ben’s clean-up work is supported by Norcros Adhesives and it has a big effect on his work back at the company. “My activities at the dive centre impact on my work at Norcros Adhesives too,” he says. “I have the responsibility for formulating new products and improving current products, where consideration for the green credentials of our products forms a large part in that development work. For example, Norcros Pro 30 Levelling Compound contains recycled glass as a replacement for quarried sand, and we are also investigating the use of end of life plastic shavings in our mixes.”