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Set sails against plastic pollution

More than 300 donors have supported and made the mission possible.

 

See the result here

(Choose english in the upper right corner)

 

The Danish “Expedition Plastic” in the Northern Pacific Ocean – has been through the world's biggest plastic soup.

Danish Crown-prince Frederik and Crown-princess Mary's Fund has supported Expedition Plastic by 200.000 DKR.

 

Donations are always welcome.

Our work depends exclusively on donations.

We still need funding for  presentating the results of our expedition through exhibitions and teaching materials.

The ship must sail. It is our heart

Expedition Plastic documents and helps us communicate the story of the problems with plastic, enabling us to act by creating new solutions in collaboration with partners, researchers, companies, developers etc.

 

Since 2015 Plastic Change has researched and documented the problems with plastic pollution in the seas all the way from Scandinavian waters, throughout the Mediterranean, across the Atlantic Ocean to the North Atlantic plastic soup near Bermuda, through the Panama Canal and into the Pacific Ocean.

In November 2016 the expedition will proceed from Los Angeles to the large plastic soup in the Northern Pacific near Hawaii and to the remote Midway Islands, which in spite of their isolated position are severely pestered by plastic litter.

 

A global data base

On a daily basis during the expedition researchers take out samples of sea water in the surface and deeper with a specially built trawl, filters and pumps. The samples are analysed for content of plastic, at first by a preliminary sorting on board the ship and later in a laboratory. The purpose of the research on board is to contribute to knowledge about the quantity as well as the effect of micro-plastic in the marine environment.

All data from the expedition go into a global data base managed by the 5Gyres Institute, USA.

 

2050: More plastic than fish

The starting point of the expedition is new research showing, that 10 million tonnes of plastic annually end up in our oceans. Within the next ten years the total quantity of plastic in the oceans will double. The floating plastic soups occupy an area the size of Africa and by 2025 there will be 1 ton of plastic for every 3 tonnes of fish. The extrapolation predicts there will be more plastic than fish by 2050.

Who are we onboard?

Name: Henrik Beha Pedersen

Expedition Leader

My role will be to make sure everybody is confident; that scientific work is rolled out smooth and as planned to be able to test the hypothesis, and to make sure we can tell the world about what we witness in the middle of the world’s biggest, most concentrated plastic soup.

I am a sailor and an environmental biologist. Environmental issues are what I work with and where I will create change to the better.

I expect a hard working team doing all we can to carry out scientific work at a high level and to communicate the expedition and what we are witnessing, to the rest of the world.

 

Name: Torsten Geertz

Captain and project manager for the expeditions

I have been the captain on the vessel S/Y Christianshavn for more than 20 years, and have been one of the initiators of Plastic Change. I have a masters degree in geography and have previously worked for Greenpeace, as a concern for our environment has always been close to my heart.

On one hand it is going to be amazing to be back at seas again and undertake this exciting and important work. On the other hand it will be an unsettling experience to see how much plastic there really is with our own eyes!

 

Name: Rasmus Hytting

1. mate and boatbuilder

I have sailed many many miles on S/Y Christianshavn. Besides supporting the captain I am in charge of maintenance, to get the ship ready for the voyage and do my part to get it safe and sound from A to B.

I expect a clear deck and a sail that is trimmed to perfection, happy people onboard and new scientific results.

 

Name: Dr. Kristian Syberg

Lead scientist. I am a biologist and an environmental planner. I have done my Ph.D. on the risks of dangerous chemicals. For some years I have been working to determine the magnitude and meaning of plastic pollution.

We are collecting data to help answer the greatest question regarding plastic pollution: What have become of all the plastics we have lost to the ocean?

 

Name: Malene Møhl

Coordinator of logistics and research assistant

I have a master degree in biological oceanography which means I study the interactions of physics and chemistry on the biological ecosystem. I have been sailing with Plastic Change from Colombia via Galapagos Islands to Mexico and on to California in the spring of 2016. So a combination of degree and experience is what I will bring to this expedition.

We are pursuing ambitious research goals to validate computer models in real life. The cruise takes us to where the micro plastic concentrations are highest. I am excited to see what everyone is talking about with my own eyes.

 

Name: Peter Andersen

Role on board: Deckhand

Academic and sailing merits: I am a biologist and a researcher at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA. I have a passion for sailing and been sailing since I was a child. I expect to get insight into Plastic Change´s work on board S/Y Christianshavn and to get a first-hand impression of the plastic pollution in the Pacific Ocean. This will be my longest trip on the sea, and I look forward to spend the time in good company.

 

Name: Sofie Katrine Zander

Cook, sailor and onboard philosopher

I have been sailing around Europe, in the Mediterranean Sea and across the Atlantic Ocean with the good old lady ‘Nordkaperen’. I’m used to the primitive life on board, that I find both giving, socially and existentially educating.

By joining Expedition Plastic, I hope to make a proactive and positive contribution to the important work that Plastic Change is engaging in.

 

Name: Chris Jordan

Role on board: Photographer and artist. Known for his photographs of albatrosses with plastic in their stomacs – on Midway Islands.

Academic and sailing merits: His industrious passion for conservation and awareness has brought much attention to his photography in recent years. Jordan uses everyday commonalities such as a plastic cup and defines the blind unawareness involved in American consumerism. His work, while often unsettling, is a bold message about unconscious behaviors in our everyday lives, leaving it to the viewer to draw conclusions about the inevitable consequences which will arise from our habits.

His main hope for this expedition is to not get in the way of the guys who know what they are doing, and to experience the open Pacific in all of its magnificent wildness. He is bringing more cameras that you could shake a stick at, but hopefully no one has a stick on board anyway. Chris looks forward to sharing his photos and video from this expedition, and his Midway film.

 

Name: Erica Cirino

I am a science writer, photographer, artist and blogger.

I do blog for The Safina Center and have my own blog as well. My science stories are published in places such as Scientific American, The Atlantic, Nat Geo Ocean Views, Nautilus Magazine, Undark Magazine and more. I am also in talks with the New York Times about a potential story about Plastic Change. I write both features and news.

I am thrilled to be blogging from the expedition.

Plastic Change´s vision is that we must live sustainably with plastic for the sake of future generations.

 

In the video you can see how we perform open sea research.