CleanSea, a scientific voyage into the problem of marine litter and what we can do about it.
Can you imagine a world without marine litter? An ambitious group of European researchers asked themselves this question and got to work studying what would need to happen to achieve that. Reflecting the direction of their goal, they call their project ‘CleanSea’. This 20-minute documentary film explores the daunting problem of marine litter in our seas, as the interdisciplinary team sets out to think about the issue in ways that haven’t been thought about before. They develop new sampling equipment and go to sea, they find out what happens when a miniature ‘plastic-filled sea’ is recreated in the lab, and they observe how nano-sized plastics interfere with sea urchin reproduction.
They learn about the astronomical social costs of marine litter and delve into the diverse ways our society can reduce marine litter via actions by government and the private sector. The team concludes that a combination of individual actions, technologies, voluntary measures, and government policies such as those promoting a ‘circular economy’ are all going to be important. But are these activities going to be able to take root and grow in the absence of more transformative changes in our social, political and financial systems?