A free webinar event exploring projects tackling plastic pollution, in coastal communities, from a highland perspective.
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The Highland Ocean Plastic webinar brings together an eclectic group of artists, makers, researchers and conservationists from projects relating to Scotland’s coastal communities, to the Galapagos, for shared insights on trying to look for solutions to how we can reduce the plastic pollution entering our oceans, harming our wildlife, and repair the damage being done to our coastlines.
We can all play our part in the Highlands and across the country to tackle this worldwide problem.
Join us for a live stream with our panel to learn a bit more about their work, with an opportunity to ask questions, and to find out ways you can help.
- Andy MacVicar – Green Hive Workshop, Nairn
- Mandy Barker – artist and photographer
- Joan Darcy and Julien Moreau – Plastic@Bay, Durness
- Julia Barton – visual artist
- Jen Jones – Galapagos Conservation Trust, Galapagos Archipelago
Please see below for detailed information on our guest speakers:
Andy MacVicar – Green Hive Workshop
Green Hive Enterprise Workshop is an innovative community-led upcycling centre that began in July 2019. We specialise in preventing single-use plastic going to landfill and re-purpose this into beautiful and functional household items.
Starting with an empty workshop space, our volunteers helped design and build the upcycling process, and associated production line. The workshop equipment and associated machines have been sourced and donated by the local community.
Green Hive Workshop provides safe and supervised creative workshop facilities where waste items can be re-discovered, reformed and re-imagined, into useful and uniquely designed items for sale. Each item is handmade by one of our volunteers.
We have created a wider conversation in the community about reuse of waste, with the source of our plastics, being donated by the local community at our plastics drop-off zone, creating a circular economy.
Andy will introduce the Green Hive Workshop project and their plans for building partnerships with other organisations to utilise waste streams as a valuable commodity. Transforming waste into craft retail items with volunteer opportunities, that can generate income for a charity organisation.
An enduring concept of reuse before industrial recycling or landfill.
Visit Green Hive
Mandy Barker – artist and photographer
Mandy Barker is an international award-winning photographer whose work involving marine plastic debris over the past 10 years has received global recognition. Working with scientists she aims to raise awareness about plastic pollution in the world’s oceans whilst highlighting the harmful effect on marine life and ultimately ourselves.
Her work has been published in over 40 countries including National Geographic, Time, The Guardian, Vice, Smithsonian, Geo, and New Scientist. She has exhibited globally including the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and the Science and Technology Park in Hong Kong.
Mandy was invited onboard the Greenpeace Beluga II project as an artist studying the impact of plastics on the ecosystem around the North Coast and Lochs of Scotland in 2017.
Visit Mandy Barker’s website
Joan Darcy and Julien Moreau – Plastic@Bay, Durness
Plastic@Bay was set up with the goal of limiting the impact of plastic pollution on NW Scotland. Our objectives are to remove plastic pollution from our beaches, research innovative ways to recycle and reuse marine plastic, and educate communities about the devastating, long lasting effects of plastic pollution. All the while carrying out primary field research to help better understand how plastic moves through our environment.
We clean our local beach, Balnakeil Beach weekly, and weigh and survey the plastic pollution we collect. The results are published monthly in the Balnakeil Pollution Report on our website. NW Scotland is unique in that it acts as an accumulation ground for plastic pollution. Along the west coast we have identified hot spots of extreme plastic pollution. Data gathered from our pollution report has been used in a collaboration with Tom Scanlon, MTS-CFD, to create oceanographic simulations to help us better understand the distribution of plastic pollution and how these hot spots form.
In conjunction with our beach cleaning activities we set up Plastic Lab, Scotland’s first Ocean Plastic recycling workshop. The workshop is built based on the concepts of Precious Plastic. We now make clocks, tiles, coasters, jewellery and construction material from recycled fishing ropes. We also give workshops on recycling Ocean Plastic to Community Groups and schools.
Julien will take you through the work done by Plastic@Bay in the last years, the problems we face concerning plastic pollution locally in terms of volumes of plastic washing ashore, where we think the main stock of plastic is coming from, and our future activities and research including; an interactive map to log plastic pollution in the Highlands, expanding cleaning operations and ‘Reddup’, Beach Clean Festival, Scourie.
Julia Barton – visual artist
Julia Barton is a visual artist inspired by coastal ecology & making artworks that engage people in our urgent environmental issues. In 2013 she set up her art-cum science project Littoral Art after a life altering experience of walking onto a beach in the NW Highlands expecting to enjoy identifying seaweeds, but instead faced a beach smothered in plastic waste.
Since then she has worked to encourage coastal communities in witnessing the nature and scale of her findings around Scotland, creating exhibitions, performances, films and interactive events. She has presented her findings at the Scottish Parliament with the Marine Conservation Society and actively campaigns for updates in environmental legislation and enforcement to tackle marine plastic pollution in Scotland.
She is presently working to complete a series of sculptures #LitterCUBES and to produce a short film to show the connection between Marine Plastic Litter, the loss of oil that it represents and Climate Change. She intends to show the work in the lead up to COP26 in Glasgow. Julia is based on the coast in Ross-shire. Visit her website: Littoral Art Project
Jen Jones – Galapagos Conservation Trust, Galapagos Archipelago
Jen Jones is a marine biologist and is currently investigating the impacts of microplastics on the marine foodweb in Galapagos for her PhD at the University of Exeter. Since 2011, she has worked for the UK-based NGO, the Galapagos Conservation Trust, where she is the Head of Programmes.
Working with a range of partners, Jen has been involved in designing the Plastic Pollution Free Galapagos Programme, working closely with the Galapagos National Park Directorate, researchers, businesses and local community groups to develop scientific and educational programmes that will support the Islands to become a best practice example of tackling plastic pollution in a Marine Reserve.
Jen will present an overview of how the PPFG programme was designed and some first results from the research undertaken over the first two years since the programme launched, sharing lessons that could be applied to similar projects in other places.
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