Marine Litter: New Evidence from the Arctic

Organized by: The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with experts from Wageningen University, Utrecht University and Leemans Maritime Consultancy. 5. September 2017

This session is the second in a series at Arctic Circle and will introduce the dynamics of marine litter deposition in the Arctic and present important new evidence from a recent Dutch study on Svalbard and Jan Mayen.

Friday, October 13, 17:55 - 19:25

Location: Ríma A, Ground Level

Research indicates that ocean currents carry considerable volumes of litter from other locations and deposit them in the Arctic, including the Svalbard archipelago and the island of Jan Mayen. Not much is known about the amount and type of marine litter on the shores of these two remote Arctic areas, let alone their sources. The featured study, sponsored by the Netherlands, is addressing these questions.

It is hoped that the findings can advance both understanding and management of marine litter in the Svalbard Archipelago, but also contribute to policy development in the context of the Arctic Council and other relevant fora.

The session, which will be moderated by Jorden Splinter, Senior Arctic Official and Senior Advisor on Polar Affairs at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will involve interventions by each panelist, followed by an exchange of views with the audience.

Participants are invited to an informal networking reception immediately after the session.


  • Tom van Oorschot, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Iceland: Welcome
  • Erik van Sebille, Associate Professor, Utrecht University: Chasing plastic: sources, fate and impact of marine litter in the Arctic“Arctic Marine Litter, sources,
  • “Arctic Marine Litter, sources, solutions and action”
    • Wouter Jan Strietman, Project Manager and Researcher, Wageningen University and Research
    • Eelco Leemans, Founder and CEO, Leemans Maritime Consultancy
  • Jan Belgers, Senior Expedition Leader, Oceanwide Expeditions: A Cruise Company’s Take on Reducing Arctic Waste


  • Jorden Splinter, Senior Adviser on Polar Affairs, Senior Arctic Official Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs