The project, which was given funding 16 December, is intended to provide input on measures to counteract plastic waste in the Arctic marine environment.

The objective is to contribute to policymaking in Norway and in the Arctic Council, among other things by examining legal and political actions that have previously been successful in the Northeast Atlantic and the Northwest Pacific.

Ann Katrine Normann at Centre for the Ocean and the Arctic will lead the project. She is delighted about the good news from the Research Council of Norway.

“Through this project we can make a difference and reverse one of the biggest environmental problems of our time, namely marine plastic waste. In collaboration with institutions in Norway, Russia, the Republic of Korea, China, and Japan, we will study and learn from conventions and agreements in other regions. Not least importantly, we will gain insight into what doesn’t work. We will contribute research-based knowledge to efforts to create effective regulatory mechanisms against marine litter – efforts that are currently ongoing in our own region,” says Normann.

The project, entitled “Governance of Marine Plastic Litter in the Arctic (GOMPLAR)”, will run for four years. Norwegian and international experts from several institutions are on the team (see complete list at the end of this press release).

“Marine plastic waste transcends national boundaries and is a complex pollution problem. To have a chance of solving it, we must draw on international expertise. All the experts are extremely concerned and eager to help save the oceans, so vital for life on Earth. The project will start in July 2021, but the collaborating parties will use the time until then to get better acquainted,” says Normann.

She is also leader of the project “Safe Harbour” at Centre for the Ocean and the Arctic. Safe Harbour is a pilot project in which players at every level in the plastics value chain work together to ensure that plastic waste from fishing and aquaculture industries in Tromsø is received in ports and recycled.

The project “Governance of Marine Plastic Litter in the Arctic (GOMPLAR)” includes the following partners: NORCE, Sintef Ocean, Sintef Industry, Akvaplan-niva, Kola Science Center, and Korea Maritime Institute. In addition, experts from China and Japan will participate in the project.