Swim experts float eco-friendly company

The north’s leading open water swimming experts have launched a new company which aims to combine maximum safety with sustainability.

Based in the Lake District surrounded by water, Puffin Swim has grown out of a heritage developed by Pete and Andrea Kelly who run the adventure swimming company Swim the Lakes. They pioneered adventure swimming in the Lakes District and are specialists in outdoor swimming wetsuits and equipment.

Now Puffin Swim has launched the UK’s first biodegradable swim tow float. The Billy Eco15 Drybag float is a bright inflatable swim tow float designed to increase the visibility of the swimmer to other water users and increase safety.

puffin swimmers in Windermere (2)

Until now tow floats have been made from PVC or PVC coated nylon. The biodegradable tow float from Puffin Swim gives swimmers a more environmentally-friendly choice.

The new project is driven by the team’s love of wild and beautiful places and an understanding that they must try to reduce their impact upon them and to help protect them. It is partnered by the RSBP’s Puffin Appeal, to adopt a puffin.

Said director Andrea Kelly: “Puffin Swim is passionate about swimming outdoors and the real adventure of using swimming as a means to explore the wild environment and travel through open water.  For this we need reliable, good equipment that will empower us, improve our experience and be functional.

“But we have a duty to protect the environment as well as our clients. We rely on good equipment day in, day out, for work and play. We have tried and tested all of our products and will continue to source and design the best products for the greatest experiences. But wherever possible, these must be sustainable.”

Their first product, the tow float, is both tough and durable. Said Andrea: “For those who might be thinking …how can it float on water if it degrades? But it’s not affected by water. It will not degrade in use, only when composted.

“Biodegradable TPU is very durable and resistant to abrasions. It is also very tear and puncture resistant making it an ideal material for a swim float. It will last as long, if not longer than a PVC float; the big difference is in the way it is disposed of, composted rather than landfill.”



  • The Billy Eco15 is made from biodegradable TPU which when composted degrades over 3 – 5 years. This has a huge environmental advantage over PVC floats which following their useful but relatively short life can take hundreds and thousands of years to degrade.
  • Biodegradable TPU is a solvent-free TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) that can biodegrade. TPU is a form of plastic and traditionally it is not known for being eco-friendly. Biodegradable TPU, on the other hand, is low in toxicity and can biodegrade much better than traditional TPU, and better for the natural environment.
  • The range of swim floats from Puffin is designed with optimal streamlining which minimises drag whilst the swimmers tows the float behind them.
  • The Billy Eco15 float is simple to use and highly effective. As a 15 litre volume drybag float it also gives swimmers the option to take some small items with them during their swim.

More information: http://www.puffinswim.co.uk/

Or contact Andrea Kelly: chuffin@puffinswim.co.uk



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