Svalbard suffers beach rubbish contamination that is, in terms of the number of items of macro-rubbish, an order of magnitude greater than most western European shorelines. Within the expedition we will catalogue and clear manmade “macro-rubbish” (bigger than about 2.5 cm) from as many 100 m stretches of beach as time allows.
The ARG are working with Wageningen Economic Research (Holland) and SALT (Norway) who have developed a new and more detailed methodology which we will use to catalogue the rubbish. This will be one of the first tests anywhere in the world of how well this methodology works. It is geared to not only identifying the item of rubbish but, critically, giving the best chance of identifying its source. This provides an opportunity to prevent more of this rubbish entering our oceans in the future.