The video shows a lone seabird searching for its next meal. However, what the fulmar gobbles is a harmful piece of plastic. This opening scene of the new video from the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators shows the harm that waste can cause when it ends up in the ocean and on the shoreline.
The video explains how visitors can help clean up marine litter that originates from afar and ends up on Arctic shorelines. It also encourages travelers to continue at home by following the principles of reduce, reuse and recycle to minimize their plastic footprint.
Education is key
According to Melissa Nacke, environmental specialist at AECO, education is key to stopping plastic at its source.
'Being part of beach cleanups is an eye-opening experience. Expedition cruise tourism is an ideal platform for raising knowledge and engagement about environmental issues, such as marine litter. This video was created both to raise awareness of the problem of marine litter and to educate travelers on what they can to do be part of the solution,' Nacke said. 'While this video is set in the Arctic, the principles that are outlined can be applied anywhere in the world.'
AECO members have been involved in Arctic beach cleanups for more than two decades.
The video was made possible by funding from the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund, the Norwegian Environment Agency and the Norwegian Retailers' Environment Fund. The animation was created by Raindog Studios.