Dealing with plastic wastes in the ocean is this family’s business

Plastic accumulating in our oceans has become a global crisis. Center for biological diversity reports that by 2050 plastic is set to outweigh all fishes in the ocean. Yes, the problem is that severe.

While we discuss and debate all possibilities, there is a family in Liverpool that is doing something about it. For Tom Caddick, removing plastic from the ocean runs in the blood.

Tom Caddick’s family have been cleaning the oceans since the 1960s. So far the family has successfully removed more than two million tonnes of plastic and other particles from oceans across the world.

Francis Caddick, Tom’s great grandfather ran a company called Bootle Barge that was tasked with taking garbage and cargos from ships that docked in Liverpool. He used his barges to transport these times. 

Back then the accumulated rubbish in the docks made the transport difficult and no one had a solution. That is when Francis invented the “Water Witch”. It was a boat designed to deal with rubbish and keep the docks clean.

Since then the family’s business has grown successfully to its fourth generation. Now the “Water Witch” business is run by Tom and his father Ian, who is the head engineer of the company. Together they have developed the latest version of their device, called “Versi-Cat”.

Versi-cat Via Instagram

Tom explains Versi-cat to be a multipurpose boat designed to act as a “trash skimmer” collecting plastics between its hull in a removable basket. It can hold up to 1000 Kgs of waste.

Their devices are now, used across 32 different countries by various harbour authorities and environmental groups. It is phenomenal to consider that a single family-businesses like this, was able to remove so much waste from the ocean. Tom and his father can proudly say that plastics in the ocean is indeed their business.

Via Instagram

The father-son duo is continuously working on improving their models and developing new methods for plastic removal from marine bodies. The world needs more businesses like “Water Witch” to build their own devices and aid in the fight against marine plastic pollution.


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