Around nine million tons of plastic waste finds its way into the oceans every year, releasing toxins that are causing harm to the marine wildlife and also reaching humans through the food chain. Fortunately, organizations are on the front line to fight this epidemic, among them Tara Ocean Foundation, a group of sailing scientists that has been leading the battle to preserve our waters since 2003.
Over the past ten years, sailors and scientists from the Tara Ocean Foundation have been roaming the oceans from Antarcticato the Arctic, taking samples and conducting scientific research to better understand our waters and the causes of pollution, and ultimately preserve the ocean. In June 2019, Tara Ocean Foundation started a new expedition, “different” from the previous ones, according to Romain Troublé, a sailor, scientist and the General Manager of the Tara Ocean Foundation: “This year we will sail around Europe for seven months and go up the ten largest rivers and search for sources of ocean plastic. The flux of plastic into the seas. It’s interesting because we know that about 80% of all marine plastic origins from land, but lack knowledge on exactly who’s responsible. We need that information to stop it,” he said.
In addition to looking at where plastic comes from, Tara’s goal is to answer what impact it has on marine biodiversity.
Firmly engaged in the preservation of our ocean, and has supported their previous expedition in the Pacific where they sailed across eleven time zones, fromthe Panama Canal to Japan and studied some of the most remote islands and coral reefs.
Although funding is key, Romain insisted on the importance of receiving support from partners who share their value sand do their part.
“Biotherm are doing some good things with their Water Lovers platform; rethinking packaging and making sunscreen that’s not affecting the marine environment negatively is a move in the right direction”, explained Romain. Indeed, in 2017, Biotherm developed the Water Lover Sun Milk, its first eco-designed sun care with eco-tested SPF filters and a 95% biodegradable base formula for a lower impact on the water environment.
While we all feel concerned, it is not always easy to make the right choices as a consumer and to know how we can avoid having a negative environmental impact. However, we should keep in mind that small changes today can have a huge impact in the future.
We need all hands on deck –from government to consumers. We must ask questions, learn and continue on this voyage of discovery. We’re all in the same boat after all,” concluded Romain.