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Research group heads to the Arctic on icebreakers to raise awareness about plastic waste

Research group heads to the Arctic on icebreakers to raise awareness about plastic waste

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Why is this expedition taking place?

See Change, co-founded by Sophie Edmonds, Annabel Illingworth and Ksenia Tarasenko, will be heading to the Arctic in September 2018 with a vast team in order to create a documentary about the increasing levels of plastic travelling from the UK to this fragile ecosystem. Speaking to Boat International about the expedition, Ksenia Tarasenko and Sophie Edmonds share their knowledge of the trip and the dire situation in this remote spot.

1. Why is this expedition taking place?

"To raise awareness that the plastic that we throw away here in the UK and Europe can travel to one of the most remote ecosystems on the planet. It has devastating effects on the fragile polar environment," says Edmonds. "Studies in the region and ocean models have found that roughly 300 billion pieces of floating pieces of micro plastic are in and around the Barents Sea."

Due to a lack of research regarding plastic pollution in the Arctic, it's a difficult place to get to in order to carry out further study. The message of the project is clear – the plastic we throw away in the UK does not disappear and over the past decades, it has floated over to the Barents Sea, creating a plastic ocean.

"The plastic is of course not coming from the Arctic itself," adds Tarasenko. "We want to contribute precious data and maybe even make some new findings."

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / Helen Birkin

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