If recycling seems difficult to you, just think about what it’s like in other parts of the world — like ones at the end of the earth. In 1962, the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) began to participate in regulating developments at “the bottom” of the globe: the Antarctic. BAS had many goals, but one of the most important was to work on limiting the amount of manmade waste that entered the region, particularly from oil rigs and survey work.
BAS wanted to make sure that any waste created during its activities was carted out afterward, so it organized regular shipments of waste and other materials to ports in the United Kingdom. Twice each year, these materials were disposed of or recycled properly.
Today, the global resource management company Veolia is partnering with BAS to extend such waste recovery efforts. When waste materials are delivered to various ports across the UK, Veolia will provide maritime barges and support vehicles to collect and transfer them to affiliated recycling facilities.
One of the vessels used in this project will be the recently completed RRS Sir David Attenborough, nicknamed Boaty McBoatface. This vessel garnered quite a bit of attention during a public contest to name the boat. BAS is hopeful that the activities of this vessel will bring greater attention to its efforts, given that it received more than 32,000 suggested names during the competition.
On the surface, the partnership sounds fairly simple. But it’s a significant undertaking, due to the complexity of transferring and handling the waste.
“Maintaining the environment of the Polar Regions and safely delivering complex operations in extreme…