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Marine litter is everywhere and unfortunately, the Arctic Ocean is no exception. While there has been a tremendous increase in public and political awareness, large knowledge gaps still remain regarding the impact, extent and fate of plastics in the environment. The University of the Arctic's Thematic Network on Arctic Plastic Pollution, lead by GRID-Arendal, aims to improve the coordination, communication and development of research, partnerships and collaborative action on marine plastic pollution in the Arctic.

The network’s objective is to foster knowledge exchange and networking among experts of the many different disciplines that have a bearing on plastic pollution. The complexity of the issues related to monitoring, and actions for combatting plastic pollution, make it clear that an interdisciplinary and cross-border approach is required for improving environmental impact assessments, source identification and solutions to the problem.

Activities are intended to support the Arctic Councils priorities in the North and to contribute to the long-term goal of reducing marine litter in Arctic waters and coastal areas. The network will focus on increasing quantitative and qualitative knowledge about marine litter in the Arctic, as well as the impact plastic has on biodiversity. This includes supporting the current work on marine plastic pollution conducted by the Arctic Council such as strengthening the communication of both on-going and future activities focused on marine litter.

Status: In progress

Type: Polar

Programme: Polar and Climate

Tags: Arctic coastal ecosystems polar water waste waste and material resources


GRID-Arendal's activities are nearly always a cooperative undertaking made possible through collaboration with partners and donors.

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