"Jellyfish" Against Plastic Pollution - The Reykjavik Grapevine

“Jellyfish” Against Plastic Pollution

Published September 12, 2019

Lea Müller
Photos by
Wikimedia Commons

Six Icelandic women swam 34 kilometers across the English Channel, from Dover in England to Cap Gris Nez in France. The group is called “Marglytturnar”, which is Icelandic for “The Jellyfish” and their main objective is to raise awareness for plastic pollution.

After 15 hours of swimming, “The Jellyfish” touched ground in France, having alternated hourly. The team, consisting of Sigrún Þuríður Geirsdóttir, Birna Bragadóttir, Brynhildur Ólafsdóttir, Sigurlaug María Jónsdóttir, Halldóra Gyða Matthíasdóttir, and Þórey Vilhjálmsdóttir, took about two years to prepare for the swim, mbl.is reports. The preparation surely came in handy when the sea got rough halfway through their journey.

Beforehand, the group had waited a week in Dover for the weather to calm down and it wasn’t clear whether they would be able to head out at all, as their permission to cross the channel expired on September 10th. Eventually, they got lucky and supporters were able to follow the group’s progress via Facebook, where they posted updates on shifts, weather conditions and snack supply.

The cause

Their noble cause, to raise awareness for plastic pollution, is, unfortunately, a little compromised by a photo that shows the snacks mostly in plastic packaging and bagged in reusable plastic bags. This is not exactly in line with the zero-waste-movement which is above all else about trying to refuse plastic, not just reuse it, since every piece of plastic produced nevertheless is a forever lost resource to the planet and often takes about 400 years to decompose. Getting in control of plastic pollution is not just about cleaning up, but even more so about changing consumer behaviour.

This is however not to discredit their effort. The environmental organisation Blái herinn, which the group is raising funds for, does a great job cleaning up Icelandic beaches. Without them, Iceland’s beautiful beaches would certainly look a lot different. With the now incoming fresh funds, “The Jellyfish” made a great contribution to keeping it that way.

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