eXXpedition Round Britain
eXXpedition Round Britain is a 30 day circumnavigation of the British Isles, researching the presence of plastics, microplastics and toxics in the seas around Britain. We sail from Plymouth and into all four UK capital cities, as well as Lamlash Bay and Stornoway. The visit to Lamlash is special, one of only two visits to small places.
Samples collected to assess plastic and pollutants are fed into wider studies investigating the impacts of toxics and plastics pollutants, linking to narratives of ecosystem health, personal health and the products we consume.
Onshore work in ports where we make landfall involves citizen science, educational outreach, beach cleans and artistic and creative activities all aimed at raising awareness of the extent of plastics pollution and the actions that we can take to create change. We work with local communities, schools and young people, community groups, media, and politicians.
The problems of plastics – breaking down into microplastics – and toxics in the ocean are beginning to be acknowledged. Microbeads in toiletries, cosmetics and cleaning products, single-use packaging, water bottles, nurdles, persistent organic pollutants found in most everyday products – and more -are all being recognised as devastating in their effects on oceans, ecosystems, aquatic life, mammals – and us. We are setting off to build on this growing awareness by publicising what is to be found in the waters closest to home, where we swim, surf, sail, snorkel and fish.
Locally we expect that schools and DofE young people will be involved in the citizen science; adults of all ages and visitors will have the chance to see what pollution in our waters looks like, especially the microplastics not normally seen. Everyone will be involved in considering what form solutions should take, on many possible levels.
There are long term environmental benefits to Arran, Scotland, the UK and global oceans thanks to the work of education and awareness raising, designed to support behaviour change and waste policy improvements.
Local tourism will be enhanced by a well-publicised event which enhances Arran’s reputation for environmental activism, a Green Island and we would like to thank the Arran Trust for their support.