Two global non-profit organisations dedicated to solving plastic pollution have launched a campaign to raise awareness about the issue which will see world record breaking endurance athlete swim the 65 km circumference of Easter Island.
Swim Against Plastic: Easter Island will see South African swimmer, Sarah Ferguson, tackle the cold waters and strong currents in a bid to become the first person ever to swim the entire perimeter of Easter Island, while raising awareness of the issue of plastic waste in the oceans, and money to help tackle the problem.
A former national swimmer for South Africa and founder of Breathe Conservation, Ferguson will cover more than 40 miles (65 km) in an estimated 24 hours.
“This is a huge challenge, but my passion for ocean protection and rehabilitation is a strong driving force that fuels this dream,” said Ferguson.“It is our responsibility to protect the ocean, and I’m proud to partner with Plastic Oceans International on this campaign to fight the problem of plastic pollution.”
Located in the South Pacific Ocean between Chile and New Zealand, Easter Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site on Chilean territory that is considered the most remote inhabited island on the planet. T
he waters surrounding the island contain one of the highest concentrations of microplastics in the world, most of which originates from sources thousands of miles away. In addition, 20 tonnes of waste is produced daily on the island, so waste management issues, especially related to the growing tourism industry, are prevalent.
Swim Against Plastic: Easter Island includes a series of beach cleanups to help restore Easter Island’s fragile environment. Plastic Oceans and Breathe Conservation are organizing the events with the island’s local communities and nonprofit organisations, encouraging all residents to participate.
“The planet needs leaders to draw attention to the serious global plastic pollution problem worldwide—threatening the ocean, our food sources and the environment—to understand the dangers of and change how we think about and use plastic,” said Julie Andersen, Global Executive Director, Plastic Oceans International.
“By showing the world that our most valued and remote locations are not immune to plastic pollution, our goal is to inspire people to find solutions and eliminate use of single-use plastics that attribute to the problem,” she added
Plastic Oceans and local residents will conduct a series of programs to determine the specific causes contributing to plastic pollution on Easter Island. Once the roots of pollution are targeted, they will work jointly to find solutions. Results and ways to prevent plastic pollution will be shared throughout local communities, with students and schools, charitable organizations, government officials and businesses.
Anyone can join Swim Against Plastic: Easter Island to get informed, inspired and make changes to solve plastic pollution. Follow the progress of Sarah Ferguson’s world record-breaking swim using #SwimAgainstPlastic. Campaign information is available online at SwimAgainstPlastic.com and donations can be made HERE
A video in which Sarah explains the challenge can be viewed below.
Documentary Series on Plastic Waste in the Oceans
The Plastic Oceans Foundation has published a series of videos explaining how plastic waste gets into the oceans, breaks down into microplastics and enters the food chains.
Plastic Oceans UK Foundation Screens ‘A Plastic Ocean’ Documentary in Malta
The producer of award-winning film, ‘A Plastic Ocean’, Jo Ruxton, and the UK based team at environmental group, Plastic Oceans, have launched a new initiative in response to the growing crisis of waste plastics and marine pollution.
UN Environment Assembly Resolution to Tackle Plastic Waste & Marine Litter
Moves to address marine litter and microplastics, prevent and reduce air pollution were among the 13 non-binding resolutions passed by the UN Environment Assembly at its recent meeting in in Nairobi.