The paper is based on last year’s UArctic summer school on plastic in the marine Arctic, and all summer school participants including students have contributed as co-authors. The summer school in August 2022 was organized by the Department of Ecoscience at Aarhus University and was affiliated with the Thematic Network on Arctic Plastic Pollution. Lead authors on the paper are from UArctic Member Institutions: Aarhus University, University Centre of the Westfjords, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, and GRID-Arendal.



Modeling studies illustrate the potential for long-range transport of plastics into the Arctic, although the degree to which this occurs remains relatively undocumented. We utilised a teaching exercise at a UArctic summer school graduate course in Nuuk, Greenland to conduct a preliminary in-depth analysis of beach litter sources in the Nuup Kangerlua fjord. Students and instructors collected and analysed 1800 litter items weighing 200 kg from one location in the fjord and another at its mouth. The results suggest a predominance of local sources to macrolitter, rather than long-range transport from Europe. Fisheries-related items and rope were common. Packaging which could be identified was largely suspected to be products distributed in Greenland, and soft plastics, which rarely disperse far from its source, were also common. The results suggest local measures to reduce mismanaged waste and emissions from fisheries are important for reducing marine litter in West Greenland.



Marthe Larsen Haarr, Lis Bach, Catherine P. Chambers, Jannike Falk-Andersson, Thomas Juul-Pedersen, Ryan d'Arcy Metcalfe, Anna Sinisalo, Jakob Strand, Helene Svendsen, Julia E. Baak, Helga Hvanndal Björnsdóttir, Elsa Margaret Krook Brenner, Sigrid Christiansen, Cécilia Delattre, Maeva Gauthier, Rachel Helen Georgiou, Ljuba Günther, Fanny Hägg, Ulunnguaq Markussen, Karla Berenice Parga Martínez, Arnaud le Pevedic, Alice Refosco, Bror Kristian Raanaas Tandberg, Felix Tulatz, Silke Van Broeck, Nathan Thomas Visser, Louise Wittwer, Beach litter sources around Nuuk, Greenland: An analysis by UArctic summer school graduate course students, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 191, 2023, 114914, ISSN 0025-326X

Access the full paper here.