Interview with surf and adventure Photographer and founder of 'The Plastic Project' Tim Nunn.

Interview with surf and adventure Photographer and founder of 'The Plastic Project' Tim Nunn.

February 20, 2017

Dispatches From A Plastic Planet Part One : Waterlevel

What a pleasure to interview surf and adventure photographer Tim Nunn and to learn more about The Plastic Project. The project that Tim is working on for the last years that is on a mission to inspire people and make them love the ocean and our planet through surfing and adventure.



Can you tell us who you are and what you do for a living?

My name is Tim Nunn, I try to make a living purely from surf photography, but being from the UK that's barely possible anymore. So I do a lot of brand communication work in-between shooting and really working hard on the plastic project. I'd like to say I was a surf photographer, but it is just part of what I do, it's the bit I really love though.

Can you tell us a bit more about: The Plastic Project?

I spent about ten years travelling to the remoter parts of the globe with a good friend Ian Battrick. At the time I was photo editor and then editor of British surf mag Wavelength, which gave me the freedom to really go to some crazy places. We lived in the wilderness in Canada, explored most of Iceland before anyone really went there, spent months in Scotland, Ireland and Norway just looking for some solitude, all before it became cool to be a cold water guy. Aside from the adventure and surfing though I have always been into the environmental side of things, and I realised as I went to more and more remote places the amount of marine litter was increasing, this really shocked me. So I started to incorporate the issue in talks and slideshows I was doing around all the adventures I had been on, and it worked. I have always felt that one of the big problems of climate change and pollution problems is that people really don't connect with stats and scientists being scientists anymore, so presenting the issue along side something they can connect with, the outdoors and surfing, makes them realise we have something to protect and fight for, without preaching. It has also opened doors to go into places that normally this message would not reach. The hook of surfing really works, it's easy to capture a classroom of kids or adults with tales of misadventure on the hunt for surf, and then to ad some reality about the state of oceans not only gets received well but also gets the point home really well. So the project really works, there are a lot of orgs out there doing amazing things, so it's just a cog in the wheel, but when it comes to education, which is the most important part of all of this it really does work. We're expanding our programme to reach some 10.000 schools in the UK and USA, which is really exciting.

The Plastic Project - Part One from The Plastic Project on Vimeo.


How can everyone support The Plastic Project?

People can help in three ways, one is we're always looking for places to come and talk and show our images and films, whilst social media is great, face to face contact is always the most effective way. We're building up a plastic picture of the globe, so we're looking for photographers, pro or amateur, to send in images, not of beach cleans but of the state of coastlines. Finally if you'd like to help us spread our educational message you can donate £1 here -

How did you get to know about The Bamboo Brush Society?

Through my best friend Sharpy.

What do you think of the Bamboo toothbrush?

Love it, it's a thing of tactile beauty that makes brushing my teeth even more fun and I'm British so need to brush my teeth.

A pristine Arctic point break, fresh powder and surf all in one, just one thing ruining it, the plastic bottles and oil cans on the rocks.


What is the best spot you have brushed your teeth?

I once brushed them 20 years from a wild black bear in Canada, very quickly.

What’s your best travel story?

So many, where do I start, probably when myself and Ian Battrick and Timmy Turner all wanted to get to Iceland to see that volcano erupting and surf in front of it. We sat in Gatwick airport for five days waiting for flights to start, then when the whole world started flying again, Icelandic airspace closed, we eventually got in, and got insanely close to the thing erupting.

An Arctic 2 minute beach clean.


What is the last film you watched?

I just watched the first trailer for The Plastic project movie, we're just waiting for Nine Inch Nails to release the track, and we can take the world to a new level of depression and ecstasy when it comes to marine pollution.

Share your best photo on your phone ! Make us laugh

I have an old School Nokia brick, all it does is text and make phone calls!

How do you get inspired ?

People following their passion and not a paycheque, it's hard but regularly works out.

North west Scotland, remote from everything apart from the constant stream of rubbish from the Atlantic.

What picture has influenced your life the most ?

That's a hard one, I think some of Scott Aichner's mental fisheyes for sure, but I think a friend of mine Brian Nevins took some working with kids living off a Nicaraguan rubbish dump, and it fired me up to start to make a difference.

If you can go on a trip tomorrow to any place in the world, where would you go?

The Falkland Islands


To follow and support Tim please check out the following links: 

 The Plastic project website

@theplasticproject on Instagram

Tim Nunn on Instagram 


O'Neill team rider and Plastic Project ambassador Micah Lester, in the Norwegian Arctic, the beaches up here are covered in plastic thanks to currents transporting them across the north atlantic.

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