Scientists conduct new research into plastic pollution in the Channel

Credit: ITV Channel Television

A ship undertaking scientific research into plastic pollution in the Channel is visiting Guernsey today.

The research is being conducted by the Dutch foundation, By the Ocean we Unite, who campaign to prevent plastics ending up in the ocean.

They hope their findings will help to to raise awareness and encourage people to work on solutions to solve the global plastic problem.

The ship has already visited Brighton and the Isle of Wight and today it arrives in St Peter Port where it will spend two days in the island before going to Sark.

There are 11 experts aboard the ship, including marine biologists, founders of the organisation and scientific research co-ordinator Dr Nanne van Hoytema.

Plastic pollution has become one of the greatest environmental challenges of our time. Worldwide, on average eight billion kilos of plastics end up in our oceans every year, which is 23 kilos every single minute. Those plastics, ranging from large to microscopically small, cause devastating effects on the environment, animals and possibly ourselves. Our aim is to raise awareness of the changes which are needed.

By the Ocean we Unite

The organisation has welcomed the recent announcement from the UK on the banning of microbeads.

That is an excellent step in the right direction. We have all been polluting our environment, unknowingly in most cases, by using cosmetics. A bottom-up movement started about six years ago, with the first people realising what was happening, and now this ban proves that the general public has a lot of power. It is a great development and I hope other governments will follow.

By the Ocean we Unite

The ship will be open to the public to allow islanders to learn more about the impact of plastic on the marine environment.

It will also help them understand what they can do to minimise pollution.