Diary from Skagen

We share our thoughts and experiences from an inspiring and enlightening day in Skagen, which (among other things) offered a beach cleaning by the grey lighthouse.

Skagen strand ved Grenen blev renset, da vi bevægede os ud på en times plastikindsamling faciliteret af Plastic Change og By the Ocean we Unite

Beach cleaning by the grey lighthouse in Skagen

Before the beach cleaning we faced the 210 steps to the very top of the grey lighthouse. From there we enjoyed the spectacular view of Skagerak and Kattegat’s meeting – and nonetheless the beach that we were about to clean. After a short briefing we went to the beach. Especially one thing was brought to our attention; go for the smaller plastic pieces. So, we did. At first glance we were standing on a beach that was already clean and had nothing but rushing waves and a powerful wind. Though, little by little, tiny pieces of plastic showed one by one – and the more trained our eyes became, the more plastic we caught. All (about 20 beach cleaners) ended up with filling up half a garbage bag – and all of a sudden, we had spared the sea from 10 filled-up bags of plastic waste from only 1 hour of walking along the coast at Grenen… 

Der blev samlet meget plastik på stranden i Skagen, og det blev efterfølgende inspiceret og sorteret

Lecture by Nanne van Hoytema and Henrik Beha 

Later on it was time for a lecture, which was also located at the grey lighthouse in Skagen. The lecture was hosted by Nanne van Hoytema, marine biologist from By the Ocean we Unite, and Henrik Beha, founder of the Danish NGO Plastic Change.  

After a nice and down-to-earth introduction Nanne explicitly and vividly told about the ugly and unrefined details related to plastic pollution in the oceans. The many facts about extermination of animal life (both birds, fish and mammals) due to plastic pollution brought discomfort to many – including us. And the ever so likeable marine biologist momentarily made the world inside the lecture room seem very dark. But then came Henrik. 


Strandrensningen i Skagen gik godt, og vi fik redet havet fra en skræmmende stor portion plastik

To lighten up the mood, though without forgetting the undeniable reality of plastic pollution, Henrik took over. Among other topics he told about potential solutions to the plastic crisis. And as a part of the solutions, the approx. 40 participants in the lecture room were able to contribute with their suggestions, frustrations, and challenges with handling plastic. Henrik pointed to the importance of a government who takes responsibility for the plastic consumption, though he also mentioned how great a step it is that organisations are beginning to take responsibility for their plastic. Many wise words were spoken, and we end with a quote from Henrik, which made the lecture audience lift their eyebrows with recognition and astonishment:

“If a tub runs over with a turned-on tap, what would you do first? Run after a mop, or turn off the tap?”

Vi fik samlet skræmmende meget plastik på den ellers tilsyneladende rense strand i Skagen


Thank you Plastic Change and By the Ocean we Unite for enlightening us – and for taking Denmark by the hand in the battle for cleaner oceans. 

Pssst…. Don’t worry – the plastic adventure is far from over. In later reflections and stories about our trip to Skagen we’ll tell a lot more about the stuff we actually learnt about plastic – because we would love to see you guys benefit from it too. We’ll also let Andrea speak her mind about the informative hours – and nonetheless her exciting sail with By the Ocean we Unite and Plastic Change.  

Turen gik til Skagen Grå Fyr for at rense stranden for plastik - det lykkedes skræmmende godt
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