Rethink Social Enterprise

Area of work: Environmental, educational, social innovation


Challenge overview

Bottles2boats (B2B) was founded through a collective movement of individuals aiming to promote environmental awareness in Kalamata on 18 July 2016. On year later in May, the organization began participating in events and exhibitions promoting the cause. It started building first plastic-shredder bicycle in June 2017 and provided first plastic shredder-bicycle to a private school in Kalamata in November. One month later, B2B started educational seminar/program in the private school. In February 2018, B2B completed new hand-held shredder.

B2B provided shredder-bicycle to public schools in Kalamata in March 2018. In June, the first EVS volunteer program for complete cycle of Bottles2boats was established and the first actual trial/sailing of completed boat in the sea happened. The B2B participated in two exhibitions in Kalamata Aiolos Sailing Club (March 2019) and in Thessaloniki Fix in Art Festival (May 2019). In October 2019, the second EVS volunteer program for complete cycle of Bottles2boats started.

Drivers/ Motivation for searching solutions of social challenges

The main drivers for the team are:

  • Environmental awareness in the community and the youth (therefore, concentration on schools and public events)
  • Education and involvement of youth and community
  • Physical activity through exercise, sports and outdoor play
  • Design innovation

The idea and process for innovation encompass environmental education + physical activity + innovative recycling + upcycled equipment + reward participation.

The organization does not receive any government support. However, it has various sponsors for different events and project. They include Messinian Boats, Kalamata Aiolos Sailing Club, Neotherm workshop, Bougas School, and other local businesses supporting B2B events. Regarding the citizens involvement, the organization works with school like Bougas School, Aris Elementary School and Stoupa Primary School.

Currently, B2B has involved the Social Youth Development (K.A.NE.) and the volunteer organization R.A.D.I.Kal.A. (Recycling Awareness Design Innovation Kalamata Association). All decisions are discussed and made by both parties.

B2B is interested in establishing the following types of partnerships:

  • European partnerships, volunteer programs
  • Greek (local) partnerships, exhibits and events
  • Networking and collaboration with local sailing clubs and other Greek sailing clubs
  • Partnership with local schools, business establishments and local organizations
  • Other international partnerships and global networking

Principles of work

The organization contributes decisively to:

  • Environmental education and awareness through youth exposure
  • Sustainability practices in the reduction, reuse and recycling of plastic bottles
  • Design innovation in methods of solving issues with regards to plastic pollution

Scope of work/ Objectives

The objectives of the Educational Circle of Recycling are:

  • To promote environmental education and awareness in the community and in the youth
  • To promote physical activity, sports and outdoor play in everyday life, from children to adults
  • To promote innovation and design in the creation of plastic shredding machines that also combine physical activity
  • To create upcycled equipment for physical exercise, sports and outdoor play
  • To reward the participation of everyone who gets involved in the process of recycling and building new equipment


  • Promoting the Educational Circle of Recycling in schools, public events, exhibits and programs.
  • Creating new machines to be used for shredding plastic and building innovative  equipment for physical exercise and sports

Target group

The target group is everyone in the community, especially the youth, children from all schools, volunteers, other Greek cities, European cities, and communities looking to be more sustainable.


  • Lack of environmental sensitivity and discipline from local community
  • Lack of resources, funds and personnel
  • Difficulty in implementation of recycling procedures


  • Awareness and sensitivity of youth to environmental issues
  • Realization of the urgency of environmental causes
  • Understanding of sustainability in different aspects of life, combined with physical exercise, sports and outdoor play
  • Development of chidden through physical exercise and sports
  • Implementation of design innovation in the creation of plastic shredding machines
  • Unification of community, youth and even international volunteers

Lessons learnt

The lessons learn are value of teamwork, camaraderie and responsibility in environmental work. Bottles2boats is already expanding their network locally, nationally and internationally.