Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Swedish Show the Way to a Cleaner Future Tackling Plastic Pollution by Practical Education  

Marine Environment Needs Saving and Tanker Shipping Group Steps Up

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Shipping News Feature SWEDEN – One year ago international tanker transport group Concordia Maritime initiated a partnership with Keep Sweden Tidy and organised the first coastal clean-up day last autumn. It also launched an online quiz aimed at spreading knowledge about plastic in the oceans and encouraging everyone to get involved in protecting the marine environment.

Now, the second coastal clean-up initiative in the Gothenburg archipelago attracted great interest. More than one hundred people came along to help pick up rubbish from the shoreline and filled numerous sacks to the brim. The two organisers were supported by the Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club (GKSS), the Swedish Sea Rescue Society and the Särö Seahawks Floorball Club.

Plastic bags, all kinds of packaging, petrol cans, old fishing nets and ropes, and even shoes too, were some of the many items that the volunteers picked up around Långedrag harbour just outside of Gothenburg. Young people from the yacht club and floorball club, families with children, local residents and other interested individuals spent several hours enthusiastically collecting litter on a beautiful Saturday in spring.

Hard plastic was sorted and separated from other waste to be used for the Ocean Project being run by the Swedish Sea Rescue Society in cooperation with Keep Sweden Tidy, this plastic is used to produce small sailing boats. Meanwhile, with so many children involved, they can grasp the scale of the problem and what needs to be done for the future.

Marine litter is one of the biggest environmental problems of our time and some 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean each year, plastic that does not disappear. This has serious consequences for the marine environment, the living organisms that inhabit it, and for humans too. Andreas Fossberg, who works as a Project Manager at the Keep Sweden Tidy Foundation, gave a short presentation about this before the clean-up got under way, and Ola Helgesson from Concordia Maritime, concluded:

“The purpose of this initiative is to raise awareness about the importance of keeping our oceans clean and also to remove debris from a stretch of the coastline. Thanks to the enthusiasm and commitment of all the participants at our clean-up day, we filled 180 bags and 20 sacks with rubbish. We hope that all those who took part in this event will help us to generate and spread more interest in keeping our oceans clean.”

You can take the online litter quiz just by clicking this link.

Photo: A few of the youngsters getting stuck in.

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