Ukrainian Polar Explorers in Antarctica will Make Souvenirs from Accumulated Plastic

Friday, September 10, 2021
2 MIN
Ukrainian Polar Explorers in Antarctica will Make Souvenirs from Accumulated Plastic

Ukrainian Antarctic station "Academic Vernadskyy" has joined the eco-initiative for recycling garbage. Employees received new equipment, thanks to which the plastic will get a second life

Waste has nowhere to go in Antarctica, so all the scientists sort metal, glass, plastic and cardboard.

At Vernadskyy, household waste is collected separately by several fractions: metal, PET plastic, HDPE plastic, glass, organics, others. At Vernadskyy, cardboard, polyethylene, and packaging are compacted using a press to reduce their volume. The compacted waste is transported by ship to Chile, where it is disposed of at considerable cost. Over the course of a year, the station produces about 50 of these large bags of "other waste," each weighing between 20 and 50 kilograms. Starting this year, plastic bottles are compressed separately. Separately, metal and glass are taken out in barrels.
Recycling equipment will make this process easier. The system includes a plastic shredder, an extruder (where the plastic melts) and molds to make souvenirs.

The Ukrainian station is one of the most visited places in Antarctica. It is located in marine Antarctica, on Galindez Island, where you can watch whales, seals and thousands of penguins.

"Plastic has become the main pollutant of the world's oceans in the 21st century, with microscopic fragments of plastic packaging from Europe, Asia and America being carried by currents across the planet, and even in its cleanest part — Antarctica — clogging the stomachs of planktonic animals, disrupting food chains and leading fish, whales and penguins to starve to death. Our station Academician Vernadsky is visited by tourists from different countries, so who else but us to take an educational role, explaining to people the "plastic threat" and demonstrating by live example, how each of us can reduce it", said Eugene Wild, director of the National Antarctic Science Center.

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