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Plastic in the Arctic

July 2022 I was in the Arctic with 50 researchers, ao climate scientists. We managed to investigate beach litter at 3 locations on Spitsbergen, Edgeoya and Barentsoya. And even in such extremely remote places, plastic can be found everywhere. Many of the objects were clearly from maritime sources, in particular fisheries. The biggest find was a 20 liter jerrycan filled to the brim with waste engine oil. I cannot keep wondering how such an object would travel from an engine room in the base of a vessel, to the deck and then end up on a beach. Fortunately the cap was still on the jerrycan and the captain of our ship offered to take it on board for disposal at a proper port facility.

Media in the Netherlands have picked up the stories on the SEES expedition, among others:

Veel plastic in Noordpoolgebied, ‘alternatief voor aardolie-plastic hard nodig’

Leeuwarder Courant SEES expeditie

SEES Trouw plastic 03-08-2022

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