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#Drones used to trace dumped #waste in Norway.
Waste Waste Household

The Norwegian capital Oslo uses underwater drones to trace dumped waste in the fjord.

Looked out at your old car and do not want to take your vehicle to the demolition? "Not so many years ago a mayor of Oslo advised you to drive your car on the ice", says Solve Stubberud of the Norwegian Association of Motorists at The New York Times.
Trash floating in the sea

Lost in the depths of the fjord in Oslo, stretching out from the capital, is a trove that would please any intrepid archaeologist or Nordic noir sleuth: sunken Viking trinkets, bullion from Hitler’s prized warship and, possibly, a few victims of homicide. Mostly, though, the fjord is filled with garbage, like unwanted cars.

Alarmed environmentalists.

After a dead dolphin was washed up in January, which had been entangled in the plastic dumped in the water, the size was full for the Norwegians: it was decided to do a big cleaning action.
Dead Dolphin on the bach wrapped in plastic


Human divers who fish the trash out of the water receive help from drones who have to track down the dirt islands. From this spring the drones will explore the depths of the fjord near Oslo. The Norwegians will presumably use the underwater drone BluEye.
The BluEye #Drone under water
The BluEye #Drone under in action.

"There are furniture for complete households," says drone operator Christine Spiten. There are also more than 1,550 mines from the Second World War in the Oslo fjord. Starting next year, the Norwegians also want to use an electric vessel with a crane to catch the dumped cars and other junk.

Mine waste

However, Norwegian environmentalists point out that cleaning the fjords is only a drop in the ocean as long as the Norwegian government allows companies to dump mine waste into the sea. An international treaty that forbids these polluting and very harmful practices has never been ratified by Norway.

By: Maarten Reijnders

Langfjorden, a kilometre from the centre of Kirkenes on Norway's Barents Sea coast, is filled up with tailings from the iron-ore processing plant.
Langfjorden, a kilometre from the centre of Kirkenes on Norway's Barents Sea coast, is filled up with tailings from the iron-ore processing plant. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Kiel Inge Røkke

Kiel Inge Røkke is one of the richest men in Norway. He is a self-made billionaire who never even finished high-school but started working as a fisherman at 18 and gradually built a leading worldwide fisheries business. Røkke’s fortune was made in the sea. Now he wants to give back to the sea by building a research vessel that will collect up to 5 tons of plastics from the water daily. In an interview for Oslo’s Aftenposen newspaper, Røkke talked about the yacht and his motivation to build it. 

“The sea has given me great opportunities. I’m grateful for that. I want to give back to society the bulk of what I’ve earned. This ship is a part of that. The idea of such a ship has evolved over many years, but the plans have become concrete in the past year.”

When completed in 2020, the REV (research expedition vessel) will be the world’s largest yacht. It will be operated independently by the world’s largest conservation organization - the World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF) and will be able to accommodate 60 researchers in addition to a crew of 30. 

The ship will carry equipment capable of conducting environmental monitoring both in the oceans (up to 20,000 ft. deep) and the atmosphere. It will also be capable of collecting and safely melting up to 5 tons of plastic per day. Nina Jensen, WWF Secretary General, said she was excited for the cooperation. 

“We are far apart in (our) views on oil, and we will continue to challenge Røkke when we disagree with him, but in this project we will meet to collectively make a big difference in the environmental struggle.”

Indeed, initiatives like this are crucial for addressing the threats marine life is facing - from ocean acidification and pollution to overfishing and temperature changes. A 2015 report published in the journal Science, calculated that "275 million metric tons (MT) of plastic waste was generated in 192 coastal countries in 2010, with 4.8 to 12.7 million MT entering the ocean."

A 2016 report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) predicts that on the current track, oceans will contain more plastic than fish by 2050 (by weight). Moreover, 95% of the value of plastic packaging material, worth $80 billion-$120 billion annually, is lost to the economy after a short first use. 

Only a few days ago, a collaboration of 19 aquariums across the U.S pledged to fight plastic pollution by banning single-use plastic bags and straws. Much more is needed, however, to solve our plastics problem.

The WEF report, emphasizes the need for applying circular economy principles and points out that  “achieving the systemic change needed to shift the global plastic value chain will require major collaboration efforts between all stakeholders across the global plastics value chain – consumer goods companies, plastic packaging producers and plastics manufacturers, businesses involved in collection, sorting and reprocessing, cities, policy-makers and NGOs.”

by Teodora Zareva