Supplier Visit: Plastic Whale / VEPA, Holland



Special boat on an Amsterdam canal designed to fish plastic waste out of the canal

On the 14th of November, our furniture Account Managers Sharron and Holly were kindly invited by Nomique to fly to Holland to visit their sister companies, VEPA and Plastic Whale, and experience first-hand how the process of creating high end office furniture begins its journey as “plastic soup” in the Amsterdam Canals.

The first stop on the trip was to VEPA’s showroom and factory itself. Here, Sharron and Holly were taken on a tour of both the state of the art showroom to see VEPA / Plastic Whale’s furniture offerings and taken behind the scenes and into the factory to witness the inspiring facilities VEPA possess to design, manufacture and create their furniture, and maintain a commendable zero waste output. Click on the link below to find out more information regarding VEPA as an organisation and the amazing work they do to promote recycling and sustainability.

VEPA Brochure :

Office boardroom table made from recycled canal plastic

The next day, Sharron and Holly along with Nomique and the other dealers on the trip, had the privilege of meeting the founder of Plastic Whale (Marius Smit) and boarded the fishing boats (which are also made from recycled canal plastic!), armed with nets, and journeyed the beautiful canals of Amsterdam collecting as much plastic waste they could that was visible to the eye. Passers by stopped to wave and take pictures and praised Plastic Whale for their efforts to keep the canals clean.

Anyone can get involved with the plastic fishing trip, whether you are part of a company, school, or just a group of friends. Currently to this day more than 20,000 people have supported the plastic fishing movement and joined Plastic Whale on the canals.

Team of people on boat in Amsterdam about to go fishing for plastic in amsterdam

Their trip was made even more special with a stay in the world’s first zero energy hotel, Hotel Breeze Amsterdam. But what does zero energy actually mean? Well, as Sharron and Holly learnt from their guided tour of the hotel, the hotel encompasses a natural zero-energy “airco” which utilises the building itself as a climate engine to provide the energy for air treatment – using the principles of Earth, Wind & Fire.

In addition to the natural air conditioning system, the list is endless with regards to the ways that the hotel acknowledges and supports sustainability. But to name a few; The hotel exterior is completely clad in solar panels, the tenth floor gym equipment when in use generates electricity for the building, and all of the food and drink in the hotel is responsibly sourced (or harvested themselves) and the restaurant operates a zero waste policy by making all meals a la carte.

Biophilic design in a modern office space

Sharron and Holly said “A big thanks to Nomique / VEPA / Plastic Whale for such an incredible experience, the trip was extremely inspiring and educational but also such great fun. We met some great people and we were blown away by the efforts witnessed first-hand that VEPA / Plastic Whale go to in order to reduce plastic waste and promote sustainability. It’s definitely influenced us with regards to how we view single use plastic and sustainability both at work and in our personal lives.”


Posted November 26, 2019

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