RCN students Patricia (Åland), Tenzin (Tibet), Jack (UK), Sunniva (Norway), Mirandas (China), Celia (Sweden), Sara (Italy), Sadrac (Costa Rica), Abdullah (Palestine) were recently invited by ‘In the Same Boat’  – a group who are doing research on microplastic in the ocean, and cleaning beaches – on a boat trip to learn more about the impact of plastic on the environment.

During the four-day trip with Captain Børje and his crew members, the students got an amazing opportunity to take a closer look at the plastic situation in West Norway.

They found that the amount of plastic in Norwegian fjords was overwhelming. The students tried to remove different plastic products from the ocean, from the soil and cracks in the rocks, discovering that in places the upper ten centimetres of the ground was plastic. Not soil. Not rocks. Pure plastic! The trees had grown into the plastic in several places and, because the plastics were already in a state of fragmentation, they were really difficult to remove. After this enlightening experience, they gained a better understanding of the impact of the plastic industry and its effect on the global environment.

Through this opportunity the students have gained a sense of the importance of protecting the environment and are now feeling inspired and looking forward to further their contribution – from small steps to big impact.

They also had the chance to experience how it is to live on a sailboat, with all the duties that come with that. They were involved in the sailing, steering, learning knots, cleaning and preparing food. The captain played the accordion in the evening, and the crew spoke of their experiences.

We hope that the educational part of raising awareness about the environment should be developed further and that it will get increasing amounts of support from a bigger part of the population.