Since this news article was posted, the results of Laura Sanderson's water sample research have revealed that micro-plastic particles have been found in Llyn Glaslyn, below the Summit of Snowdon.
Laura will now be undertaking a new challenge, swimming through rivers, lakes or coastlines of all 15 national parks, collecting further samples to better understand the full scale of the problem.
OSS team member and Surfers Against Sewage regional rep for Snowdonia Beach Clean, Laura Sanderson, is aiming to highlight this issue by swimming the Afon Glaslyn in Snowdonia from Source to Sea on April 6th-7th, along with swimmers Ruth Bulleyment and Danielle Hicks. The journey will involve swimming the 26km stretch of river from the highest point LLyn Glaslyn under the shadow of Crib Gogh on Snowdon, down to the sea.
“Swimming in rivers, lakes and seas enables an unrivalled closeness to watery environments. For some, this means catching sight of a heron overhead or bathing with seals. More often than not we are now sharing our waterways with an alarming amount of single use plastic pollution. I wanted to raise awareness of this issue and to also find out more. Plastic takes a long time to degrade and breaks into smaller fibres, often invisible to the eye. I wanted to find out if micro plastic pollution had infiltrated even the most remote waterways such as Snowdonia.“
Laura will be working on a research project with Dr Christian Dunn, collecting water samples throughout the swim which will be tested in the laboratory at Bangor university,
“This research will give us a greater understanding of levels of micro-plastics through a water catchment system” - Dr Christian Dunn.
As the swimmers descend the 2000ft above sea level they will be taking part in community river and beach cleans with fellow SAS representatives Meg Pugh and Bella Sanderson. We hope to raise awareness of single use plastic in each community we swim through and we are intrigued to find out the results of the micro plastic tests.
“We will be wearing our Alpkit wetsuits to allow us to stay in the water for long periods of time and sleeping under the stars using our cloud base mattress, sleeping bags and Hunka bivvy bags... ThanksAlpkit!"
We are now urging swimmers to take part in the Big Spring Clean Up - Summit to Sea, in partnership with Surfers Against Sewage, which will take place between April 6th and April 16th. Find your nearest clean or volunteer to lead your own at www.sas.org.uk or by emailing email@example.com. All Clean Leaders will receive a Big Spring Beach Clean kit, a limited edition SAS insulated Hydroflask, a step-by-step guide to organising their clean, along with support and guidance from the SAS Team.
Inspired by Laura and the ever-growing problem of plastic pollution, we'veteamed up with the Colourful Coast Partnership and the RNLI to hold our very own Alpkit Beach Clean near our Keswick and Ambleside stores in St Bees, Cumbria. Come along, grab a brew and help make a difference!