inews.co.uk. By Pascale Hughes
A sailor who investigated the world’s largest accumulation of marine plastic by carrying out scientific experiments on the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” in July is now inviting applications for an all-female sailing voyage and scientific research mission.
Emily Penn will lead an expedition to circumnavigate the globe with the aim of raising awareness of the environmental and health impacts of single-use plastics.
The crews will explore plastics and toxics in the ocean, sailing through four of the five oceanic gyres and the Arctic. The two-year voyage, which sets sail in October 2019, will be split into 30 legs, with 10 sailors on each.
“The plastic pollution challenge our ocean faces is a global one and it will take an inspired army of passionate, skilled and experienced people to tackle it,” says Ms Penn, who co-founded eXXpedition in 2014. “This is our biggest project yet and by far the most challenging. We’re looking for amazing women with a passion to protect our ocean to come forward to join us.”
Ms Penn says that sailing experience is not important. “We’re trying to find solutions from every angle. We need designers, creatives, policy-makers. It’s a struggle to find someone who couldn’t play a role.”
Sailing into rubbish
In the four years since the first eXXpedition voyage across the Atlantic, more than 100 women have sailed on missions to raise awareness about the plastic problem. Ms Penn, who has spent the past 10 years tackling plastic pollution, is most concerned by the potentially toxic impact of the breakdown of plastics in the ocean by seawater and sunlight.
When she tested her own body for some of these chemicals she had found in the ocean and in plastic, she found them inside her. She is heartened by the rise in awareness about plastic pollution she has seen in the last two years.
“I am feeling optimistic but we need to change that awareness into direct action,” she says.
For more details go to http://exxpedition.com/