As we have travelled by sea we have become increasingly aware of the issue of plastic waste. From coffee cup lids floating past us in the Brisbane river, to rafts of wrappers in Indonesia, to harbours filled with plastic water bottles in the Maldives, plastic waste is everywhere. And it never goes away.
So what can we do? Overwhelming problem right? So let's just start with doing one thing. Doesn't really matter which one, just start. Then do another.
On Wakanui (and before) we try to take re-usable shopping bags wherever we go. We try to remember to take re-usable water bottles. We recycle as much and as often as we can. And because we got to go places that most people - including researchers - don't, we try to collect information about what we see as we travel. We do this a few ways:
We take photographs of items at sea and on beaches;
We do 'sightings sheets' from the boat when we are at sea, documenting the number and size of items we pass in a set time-frame;
We now have a version of a Manta Trawl that we can tow behind the boat to collect micro-plastic in the surface water.
Once we have collated all the information we have collected we will send it off to researchers and have it available to view here. We want you to see what we see.
Plastic pollution is a big and complex issue so we'll be exploring some more about the topic below.