Plastic pollution: All-female crew ocean mission sets sail

Last updated at 11:04
eXXpedition-boat-sea.Sophie Bolesworth/EXXpedition Round the World

An all-female crew are setting sail around the world investigating plastic pollution in our oceans.

The eXXpedition Round the World voyage will take two years and will set off from Plymouth on 8 October.

The aim is to look into the causes of plastic pollution and what can be done about it.

The crew will sail through some of the most important and diverse marine environments on the planet - including crossing four of the five oceanic gyres, systems of currents where ocean plastic is known to accumulate, and the Arctic.

During the expedition, scientific research will be carried out both at sea and on land.

Bottle-under-the-sea.Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The expedition will be led by environmental campaigner Emily Penn.

She said: "The plastic pollution challenge our ocean faces is a global one and it will take an inspired army of passionate, skilled and experienced people to tackle it.

"Our eXXpedition Round the World mission is a unique opportunity to build a comprehensive picture of the state of our seas, while conducting much-needed research that will inform practical and effective solutions to ocean pollution."

Environmental-campaigner-Emily-Penn-briefing-the-crew.EXXpedition Round the World/PA Wire
Environmental campaigner Emily Penn briefs the crew

During the mission 300 women will join the crew for various legs of the voyage - almost 10,000 have applied to take part!

Those chosen for the mission are aged between 18 and 57 years old and are from more than 30 countries - scientists, artists, filmmakers, doctors and actors have all been selected!

Professor Richard Thompson, an ocean plastics expert at the University of Plymouth, said: "In recent years, tackling the plastics in our oceans has become one of our most high-profile environmental challenges.

"It is crucial that we use innovative and informed means to develop a greater understanding of the issue's global scale, and to identify ways to address it."

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