During the first week of May, more than 100.000 Norwegians went to the shores for cleaning litter off our beaches in a huge voluntary campaign.
Norner organised the largest campaign in our region with 90 employees, children, friends and customers. We managed to clean a coastline of 3 km for about 0,5 tons (!) of litter.
Plastics represents the most significant marine litter challenge and we are convinced that with our unique plastic experience, and competence we can play a significant role in research and development to find good solutions to this challenge.
The fastest growing environmental issues
The coastline of Norway is among the longest in the world when considering the fjords. Due to the major currents like the Gulf Stream and others, there are massive amounts of marine litter landing on our shores. This comes in addition to a wide range of domestic sources of litter.
National and international media have covered the problem of marine and plastic litter in depth during the past few years and this have, together with a high attention from the authorities, created the high awareness in the public. Norwegians are nature-loving and it gives us a practical meaning of doing something useful when we participate in solving one of the fastest growing environmental issues we have internationally. It’s a huge task to reverse the situation with 8 million tons of plastic ending up in the sea every year.
Plastic and other items generally enter the environment as a result of irresponsible behavior or a lack of appropriate infrastructure. However, we must provide people with the opportunity to do the right thing – we need developed waste infrastructures that are easily available.
On May 3rd, we gathered at the beach of the beautiful Eidangerfjord in Telemark County.
Equipped with sacks and gloves
We spread our troops over a beachfront of 3-4km equipped with sacks and gloves and a scuba diving team went subsurface to remove marine debris. During the next couple of hours approximately 150 bags and a total of almost 0,5 ton was brought back to our point of litter collection. You can see for yourself on the picture the amounts collected.
This action was also covered by the national broadcasting, NRK.
When the litter collecting was done, we enjoyed the sunny evening with a barbecue on the beach and nice time together. In this way we combined a social event with employees and customers with this very useful campaign.
The litter collected can be categorised as follows:
- rigid packaging (50 kg)
- various rigid plastics (70 kg)
- plastic films and bags (60 kg)
- expanded foams (10 kg)
- rope and twines (75 kg)
- glass/bottles (40 kg)
- metal boxes (20 kg)
- various metal scrap (60 kg)
- paper/wood (40 kg)
- clothes/shoes (15 kg)
- all together this is 440 kg.
In the fractions of rigid plastics, we found most of those typical small and larger items like nurdles/pellets, Q-tip sticks, scrubber pall rings, syringes, caps, pails to large cannister, a chair and plastic pipe.
Actively work with the industry
Norner will actively work with the industry to develop and implement solutions, and continue to increase awareness and competence to impact consumer behavior.
We hope our results can inspire all of our customers to also organise similar actions in your local communities.
Plastics industry must take actions in several ways for improved awareness and developing better solutions.