Local teams head to Alaska to collect research samples, clear plastic debris
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Two teams from the Plastic Ocean Project visited Alaska to collect samples for research and clear thousands of pounds of plastic trash.
Per a Plastic Ocean Project (POP) release, the teams made the trips from May 29 to June 10 to collect and analyze grizzly bear scat samples and remove plastic debris. The grizzly bears had no trouble providing samples, but the plastic was a different story.
“The research we do is important to show policymakers, businesses and the general public how to enact change. If I can change the plastic habits of one person, myself included, I’m doing something worthwhile,” said POP Lab Director Kayla West in the release.
The team recovered 20,000 pounds of polystyrene foam, plastic trash, rope, fishing nets and other trash from the beaches of Alaska. Plastics and other trash wash ashore Alaskan beaches far more often than others due to the wind patterns and water currents in the area.
“I knew the work we did mattered to the ecosystem we were in and I truly believe that doing something is better than doing nothing-always,” said soon-to-be NC State freshman Eleanor Meinhold.
POP is a local nonprofit focused on research, outreach and education on plastic ocean pollution.
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