Research Relating Marine Plastics and Health

Many are passionate about plastic change at home and would like to do more; supporting me in this voyage will be a direct means to support tackling the plastic problem in our oceans. 

I am delighted to have been selected to join an eXXpedition round the world voyage! Less than 3% of applicants (10,000!!!) made it through, so I am honoured to be awarded a crew position on such an exciting and worthwhile  adventure. Please visit the website to find out more about  and the round the world trip investigating plastic and toxins on ocean and human health.

As a coastal, marine and climate change scientist (Dr Emma Rendle @ResilientCoasts ) this topic has been at the core and reflects how poorly we treat our Planet Earth. My work in climate change and coastal management is often intertwined with human pollution and solid waste management issues. This is why I am volunteering my time; 1 month at sea to join the eXXpedition crew make some noise, 2 YEARS. 30 VOYAGES. 300 WOMEN. 

This diverse ALL-FEMALE crew of 300 women PhD scientists, filmmakers, artists, teachers, doctors, sustainability experts who are brought together to sail around the world for 2 years helping reduce and solve the plastic problem. This is an all-female expedition as women are still underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), and occupy only 13% of the STEM workforce. The eXXpedition hopes to help redress the balance and encourage more young women to move into science and exploration. Kerana is a Marine Biologist from Indonesia has joined the eXXpedition on a full bursary from International Maritime Organisation (IMO). 

Helping crew the voyage and collect all important data throughout the south Pacific from Easter Island to Tahiti, in March 2019. eXXpedition has generated much needed research around the topic of Ocean Plastics and Social Media - the topic plastic remains hot on the political agenda, and together we continue to bang the drum for change LOUDLY!

● 8 million tonnes of plastic waste find their way into the ocean each year (Jenna Jambeck)
● Only 9% of plastic is recycled globally (more info: )
● We use over one million plastic bags every minute worldwide (see a live count of the plastic bags used worldwide here: )
● By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish (source: )
● There are five subtropical gyres , where plastic is collecting in the ocean (more info: )
● Most plastics, even when certified as biodegradable, do not breakdown in water (source: )
● Toxic chemicals in the ocean, such as pesticides, flame retardants and industrial waste, lead to bioaccumulation of toxics in the food chain
● Many chemicals found in plastic have been linked to disease , and are found to be contaminating our bodies through food and other plastic consumer products
● Plastic debris also threatens marine and terrestrial wildlife through entanglement or by clogging their digestive tracts.

We will be taking samples from the sailing vessel - continuously as we pass through the global ocean gyres. Recording and measuring the availability of plastic and toxins in the sea water as we go, this helps to build a case and argument for change as well as provide information about where and how much plastic is in our seas globally. This type of open ocean data is rare as it is incredibly expensive to collect, particularly in the Pacific Ocean.

The crew for each leg are selected due to their individual skills, the voyages provide an opportunity to discuss wider issues and plan future awareness and research projects. The documentary and recording of the voyage through photography and video will continue to produce noise for social media purposes. From their last expedition in the North Pacific , there was an incredible 430+ pieces of media coverage from Europe, America and Asia within The New York Times, The Robb Report, BBC, Sky News, ITV, The Guardian... the documentary in full  or watch the trailer below. 

Why I am asking for donations?
I will be making a donation of £8,400 to cover my place on the research vessel (this donation covers part of the cost of the leg of the eXXpedition I will be on, we are paying for the vessel to reach all the corners of the globe!). Additionally, I am collecting donations towards the travel costs, visas and insurance. I am inviting you to support me and this project to better understand the situation, and the mission to Making the Unseen Seen. From the toxins in the plastic, to the bacteria and viruses that they can carry and new research into health specifically women's health; impacts on fertility and the unborn fetus are key areas of medical interest.

Please, please, please SHARE WIDELY throughout your networks - I would be very interested to hear from businesses looking to highlight their involvement and sponsorship of me as an eXXpedition crew member. I invite suggestion and encourage any ideas or donations of products that we can raffel off, all product donors will be acknowledged across media platforms.

Alongside my immense gratitude, donations come with benefits, ways to interact and learn more... please do get in touch.

Dr Emma Rendle is an international consultant and runs her own business from Plymouth, UK. She provides advice in marine science and coastal engineering particularly related to flooding and coastal erosion, offering adaptation advice under an uncertain future. #resilientcoasts @resilientcoasts  or contact me:  [email redacted]  +447718723753 

Bonita (paramedic from South East London) and I will be on LEG 8: EASTER ISLAND to TAHITI, via the PITCAIRN GROUP 24 days at sea!!
From 8 March – 1 April, 2020. Along with Emily Penn (Founder and Director of eXXpedition) plus 8 other ladies, see our profiles here: 

This voyage leg will be as unique as the island nations that we will visit. Starting at Easter Island, one of the most remote inhabited islands on Earth and surrounded by the Rapa Nui Marine Park, we will be exposed to some thought-provoking experiences as we meet with a local community organisation to look at the plastic pollution challenges on land.

We will then set sail towards the Pitcairn group of islands and weather permitting, will visit Henderson, an uninhabited island that is a United Nations World Heritage Site and one of the world’s largest marine reserves. Henderson is thought to be the world’s most polluted uninhabited islands and trash is thought to wash up on its shores at a rate of 3500 pieces per day (National Geographic) and therefore it will provide an interesting stop over on our way to Tahiti. We will step ashore to investigate some of the impacts of this influx of marine debris.

We will set sail again for Tahiti, the largest island in French Polynesia. Having sailed 2500 nautical miles we will be treated to amazing scenery as we head towards land, with the high peaks of two extinct volcanoes, part of the Society hotspot volcanic island chain and a rich coral reef fringing the island. We will have an interesting story to share when we set foot on land and collaborate with a local community group to raise awareness of the issue and share our findings.

Look who I met... only Jackie Nunez founder of the plastic straw campaign!!! This woman rocks, she used straws to highlight one of the most common products in the US context, campaign did so well even the largest companies are trying to change. So many awesome women!!

Thank you for reading and any contribution you can make.



  • Eco Club Saint Johns
    • £30 
    • 4 yrs


Emma Rendle

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