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Expedition Plastic in Danish waters documents and shows the way towards new solutions

Plastics are present in Danish waters. This is proven in every single sample from Expedition Plastic in Denmark after having examined the waters around Zealand in June 2016, and from Skagen to Ærø in August 2018.


The samples in 2016 were collected with a special surface trawl from the ship “Guldborgsund” and subsequently analysed by a reseach team at Roskilde University. The total number of 12 samples have detected more than 7000 plastic particles per km2 (square km), but since the filter only catches particles bigger than 0,335 (app 1/3 mm) the smallest particles from e.g. synthetic clothing are not counted in. In 2018 we joined the Dutch organisations on board Fantastiko going from Skagen via Roskilde and Copenhagen to Ærø. Out of 11 samples only two didn't contain plastic. 


First samples in Denmark

It is the first time Danish seawater has been examined for micro plastic. Plastic Change has collected similar samples of plastic soups in the Mediterranian Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and lately the Pacific, too –those samples are included in a global database on plastic pollution. Additional reading Expedition Plastic. That is why it was on time to execute surveys in Danish waters says environmental risk researcher from RUC (Roskilde University Center ) Kristian Syberg: “We have now obtained evidence that there is plastic in Danish marine environment, yet not as bad as we see in the Mediterranean, where similar samples contain almost ten times as many plastic particles. But this is, however, an ocean with an extremely low level of water change in opposition to Danish waters. The conclusion is that even though we have waste treatment and water purification plants Denmark contributes to the global plastic pollution of sea waters anyway”.


Need for a plastic policy

The results clearly show, that it is more important than ever for Denmark to initiate a plastic policy banning e.g. plastic in personal care products, securing re-cycling and re-use of plastic and controlling and reducing emission of plastic from water treatment plants.


The Crown Prince and a minister participated

Expedition Plastic in the Pacific has received DKr 200.000 from Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary´s fond. His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik has emphasized his interest in documenting plastic pollution in the sea by participating in a part of the expedition around Zealand, accompanied by environmental and food/nourishment minister Esben Lunde Larsen.


The reporting of the results from Expedition Plastic in Denmark we only have in Danish at this link.