It would have been an idyllic scene: A remote beach, ice floes in the distance and a lone seabird searching for its next meal. However, what the fulmar gobbles down is more likely to hurt it rather than to nourish it: A piece of plastic. The opening scene of the new animation video from the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) shows the harm that waste can cause when it ends up in the ocean and on the shoreline.
While the realities of marine litter are heart-breaking, the video has an optimistic message. It explains how visitors to the Arctic can help clean up marine litter that originates from afar and ends up on Arctic shorelines. The animation also encourages travellers to continue at home by following the principles of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle to minimize their plastic footprint.
According to Melissa Nacke, environmental specialist at AECO, education is key to stopping plastic at its source.
“Being part of beach clean-ups 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. While this video is set in the Arctic, the principles that are outlined can be applied anywhere in the world,” says Nacke.
AECO members have been involved in Arctic beach cleanups for over 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.
Resources for download
The animation video is available for download here: https://vimeo.com/513067167