Photos taken on a remote arctic island show two polar bear cubs playing with a large sheet of plastic. That’s not the only trash found. Josh King reports.
These troubling photos show two young polar bear cubs playing with a large sheet of plastic on a remote Arctic island. The siblings were spotted with their mother on the icy coast of Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago about halfway between the mainland and North Pole. The black plastic stands out as the white bears paw at it, before putting it in their mouths.
Svalbard is hundreds of miles from continental Europe and has a population of about 2,500, yet researchers navigating the freezing waters found plastic waste wherever they went. Claire Wallerstein was part of the Sail Against Plastic team, a group of 15 British scientists, artists, filmmakers and campaigners who recently returned from an expedition to the Arctic Circle. She said: ‘We were very lucky to be invited to take part in this unique expedition, and had an amazing time seeing Arctic wildlife, stunning glaciers and experiencing 24-hour sunlight. ‘However, it was also a very sobering experience to see just how much plastic is making its way to this incredibly remote and apparently pristine environment.’