What the seas don't need

Wine bottles, plastic and pillows. Tables, tires and toothbrushes.  It all surfaced in Bodø's harbour during Science Week 2017.

Some of this ocean junk sank to the bottom by accident. Other things were taken by a northern storm. A large proportion can be blamed on negligence or ignorance. Many items are the result of intentional degradation of our marine environment. 

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Cleaning up marine waste. Bodø Diving Association did a great job during Science Week 2017. (All photos: Per Jarl Elle).

Science Week 2017 provided the perfect excuse to bring together Nord University, Nordland Research Institute, Bodø Diving Association, Stormen Library, Bodø Port Authorities and Ramsalten to highlight the issue of marine pollution.

Just off the quay

The event aimed to demonstrate the proximity and scope of marine pollution by retrieving rubbish from the ocean floor within the harbour. 

Association Chair Jan-Gunnar Berg managed to stay dry while four or five divers trawled through the seabed mud.

- There is a lot of smaller waste in the inner areas. We find bigger waste items further out towards the breakwater, he says.

Tons of marine waste

The diving association, which receives funding from local government and industry, does more than contribute to a cleaner marine environment during Science Week. It also dives into the harbor basin six times every year to collect waste.

Since 2005, its members have collected more than 7,000 kilos of fishing lures from the seabed of nearby Saltstraumen.

In 2017, Bodø Diving Association received the Golden Pinch Award from the Hold Norge Rent ('Keep Norway Clean') NGO.

- We are very happy that our efforts are appreciated, says Jan-Gunnar.

Klikk her for å endre bildetJan-Gunnar Berg and the rest of Bodø Diving Association have had another busy year cleaning up marine waste.

Eating plastic

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Plastic waste ends up in your food – and in your belly. Researcher Wenche Sørmo of Nord University.

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See for yourself. Hundreds of visitors got a closer look at microplastic skin creams during the event.

Every year, millions of tons of plastic waste is dumped into the world's oceans. Plastic bags, plastic bottles and other plastic packaging drifts along ocean currents. Over time, plastic will disintegrates and enters ecosystems, and our food, as tiny beads.

Microplastic in toothpaste and cosmetics runs into the sea with the sewage and is absorbed by plankton, fish and shellfish.

- It is easy to see nylon and the plastic chains in a solution studied under a microscope, says professor of natural science didactics Wenche Sørmo from Nord University's Faculty for Education and Arts.

Wenche has researches pedagogy relating to marine pollution.

Together with Karin Stoll and Mette Gårdvik, Wenche has developed a pedagogical plan for teaching young children about marine pollution. 

Klikk her for å endre bildetJust do it – at home. The recipe for environmentally friendly body scrub.

- Not all cosmetics contain microplastic. If in doubt, you can scan the product code using the Beat the Micro Bead app. However, if you really want an efficient and nature-friendly body scrub, you can just make it yourself, based on coffee grounds and olive oil, says Wenche.

Klikk her for å endre bildetUnusual place setting: Tone Finnstein Sandvik of Ramsalten found a free table during Science Week 2017.

Article translated by Elisabeth Bergquist and Sarah Evans.