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June 16 cleanups urged in memory of Sarah Auffret

Article-June 16 cleanups urged in memory of Sarah Auffret

Sarah Auffret
Sarah Auffret in Svalbard in August 2018 PHOTO: AECO
On June 16, people around the world will carry out cleanups in their local environments to mark the birthday of Sarah Auffret, who dedicated many years of her life to protecting the environment, particularly the marine environment in polar regions.

AECO environmental agent

As environmental agent for the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators, Auffret was responsible for Clean Seas initiatives. She led AECO’s efforts to drastically cut back on single-use plastics aboard Arctic expedition cruise vessels and enhance passengers’ involvement in regular beach cleanups.

Perished in Ethiopian Airlines crash

On March 10 Auffret was on her way to Nairobi to talk about the Clean Seas project in connection with the UN Environment Assembly when her Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed soon after takeoff from Addis Ababa. There were no survivors.

An avid supporter of environmental issues, Auffret inspired a huge number of people to be part of the solution. Friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances from around the world have pledged to take action on June 16 and will carry out cleanups of beaches and other areas as a way to honor her memory.

AECO is encouraging people to use this date to rally together to clean up plastic litter in their outdoor environment, on a beach or anywhere else. This could be a community or individual effort, a social work event for staff, or an opportunity for cruise ships to educate passengers further about how easily plastic waste ends up in the marine environment and what to do about it.


A number of cleanups are planned on June 16, ranging as far afield as Asia and Australia, Europe and North America. AECO would like to hear of any efforts made to reduce plastic waste in the environment on this date at [email protected]. AECO also encourages everyone to share their efforts on social media using the hashtag #CleanupforSarah.

Auffret joined AECO in May 2018 and was based in Tromsø, Norway.

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