WHY IS THERE PLASTIC IN OUR OCEANS?

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Sally Earthrowl, Mission Leader at eXXpedition, sails around the world with a mission to highlight the devastating impact of single use plastics and toxics from land-based activities are having on our planet’s oceans, eco systems and on human health.

Please can you give an overview of who eXXpedition are, and your role within the organisation? 

eXXpedition is a Community Interest Company which organises all-female sailing voyages with an aim to ‘make the unseen seen’ from the plastics in our ocean to the toxics in our seas, and in us. As Mission Leader I help the team plan the mission logistics, but I will mostly be found on board facilitating scientific data collection and discussion around how we can collectively tackle this issue, so that when our crew returns to land they are motivated to affect change in whatever sphere of influence they have. 

What are some of the most interesting findings that you have found on your eXXpedition voyages? 

A key part of our planning is to select a multidisciplinary crew, so that everyone brings a different perspective to the discussion on the issues and solutions. Sharing innovative and inspiring ways in which people plan to tackle this in their communities back on land is by far the most interesting and motivating part of these voyages. 

(c) Eleanor Church Lark Rise Pictures - eXXpedition North Pacific leg 1 Hawaii to Vancouver Photo  (243).jpg

What kinds of plastics are most commonly found in the ocean? And what makes them so harmful to our planet? 

Sailing through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch we saw a shocking amount of identifiable plastic items, but what was most shocking was the number microplastics we collected in our trawl samples.  We all know that marine life and birds, such as the Albatross find it difficult to differentiate between the plastic and their usual food source which impacts on their health, the health of our ecosystem and ultimately, us.

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How can others get involved in eXXpedition voyages? And what can they expect to experience? 

Please check out the applications section of our website http://exxpedition.com/get-involved/apply/ Our new voyages will be up soon so keep an eye out!  You can also find information on past voyages, which should help you to get a flavour of what to expect.  Hopefully see you on 1st December at the @noplanetbcommunity Christmas party where I'll be sharing stories from our latest voyage across the Pacific Ocean.


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