Daniel Sano Mireki, left, and Katrine Kock Frandsen, right, are turning plastic waste into medals for sporting events ©ITG

A Danish company has devised a way to avoid throwing away plastic waste by turning it into medals for sporting events in a drive for sustainability.

Surfers Katrine Kock Frandsen and Daniel Sano Mireki founded omhu in 2020 with the aim of collecting litter on beaches and transforming it into products.

The company’s workshop situated in Hyide Sande in the west coast of Denmark has seen the production of key chains, earrings, bracelets and dog leashes.

Frandsen and Mireki have also started producing bespoke medals for several sporting events including last year’s European Stand-Up Paddle Championships staged in Hyide Sande.

"Plastic is a fantastic product that can be reused over and over again and we want to show how easy it is," Frandsen told insidethegames.

"Making new plastic doesn’t make sense when we have so much already.

"We are both sports people and we thought that given a medal has such meaning for the playground we are all using, it makes very good sense to tell the story that we need to do something about the ocean plastic pollution and this is a very good way to do it.

"Every medal would be unique not matter how many we do so it is great story."

Bespoke gold, silver and bronze medals were created by omhu for last year's European Stand-Up Paddle Championships ©omhu
Bespoke gold, silver and bronze medals were created by omhu for last year's European Stand-Up Paddle Championships ©omhu

Frandsen and Mireki have been showcasing their company at the Sustainability Island in Aarhus which is hosting a leg on The Ocean Race.

"We hope to do bigger events and other events than just watersports," said Frandsen.

"The whole events business has put their focus on sustainability and one of the heavy ones is medals.

"If you want to move forward in that way, medals is a good thing to focus on."

Since launching omhu two-and-a-half years ago, Frandsen said about 7,000 people had collected more than 25,000 kilograms of garbage.

Among those participants include 2,500 children having teamed up with schools to help tackle the issue of litter on beaches, insisting "every effort counts".

"We started out knowing nothing about how to produce plastic," said Frandsen.

"We wanted to make a difference on the beaches.

"We have done that already in a small scale and we want to do that in a bigger scale."

Mirecki added: "It’s absolutely amazing to see it grow like this.

"We started out in a big fish cutting facility and now we have grown to something that people can buy into.

"Having removed 25 tonnes of litter from the beaches, that is an achievement by itself and something we should be proud of."