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December 14, 2018

UK-based sailing organisation eXXpedition recently announced the launch of their new “Round the World” initiative , a pioneering ocean sailing expedition that will circumnavigate the globe to raise awareness and stimulate action to address the devastating environmental and health impacts of single-use plastics and toxics. 

eXXpedition Round the World is an all-female sailing voyage and scientific research mission that will run from 2019-2021. Covering over 38,000 nautical miles and 30 voyage legs starting and ending in the United Kingdom, eXXpedition crews will explore plastics and toxics in our ocean. 

Connected by a passion to protect our shared ocean, it will enable 300 women to go to sea as hands-on crew and experience first hand the challenges we face from single-use plastics, while contributing to cutting-edge scientific research and solutions-based thinking. The organisers invite women from diverse multidisciplinary and cultural backgrounds to apply to take part – previous sailing experience is not a requirement. 

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“The plastic pollution challenge our ocean faces is a global one and it will take an inspired army of passionate, skilled and experienced people to tackle it,” says Emily Penn, eXXpedition Director and Sky Ocean Rescue Ambassador. “This is our biggest project yet and by far the most challenging. We’re looking for amazing women with a passion to protect our ocean to come forward to join us.”

This summer, Emily returned from leading eXXpedition North Pacific, the highly-acclaimed research expedition through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. In the four years since the first eXXpedition voyage across the Atlantic, over 100 women have sailed on missions creating their own narratives about plastics and toxics, utilising their specific skills and their eXXpedition experience. 

This year saw many athletes and organisations harnessing the power of sport to protect the oceans. This year’s winner of the Best Corporate Campaign or Initiative at the Beyond Sport Global Awards was Volvo Ocean Race for their Clean Seas: #TurnTheTideOnPlastic. The campaign uses the platform of the Volvo Ocean Race to help spread the word about the importance of ocean health and the urgent need to tackle plastic pollution.

Similarly, endurance swimmer, climate activist and thinkBeyond client Lewis Pugh completed The Long Swim campaign in August. He swam the full length of the English Channel, from Land's End to Dover, in just a cap, goggles and Speedo swimming trunks to call attention on the damage being done to the world's oceans. This swim marked the beginning of a worldwide campaign to ensure that 30% of our oceans are fully protected by 2030.