Thematic Network on Arctic Plastic Pollution


The overall objective is to foster networking and exchange of knowledge and coordination amongst the experts of the many different disciplines that have a bearing on plastic pollution. The need for complex integrated monitoring and for prioritizing actions for combatting plastic pollution, make it clear that an interdisciplinary and cross-border approach is required for improving environmental assessments, source identification and solution development to tackle the problem. Additionally the network could support the work on marine litter and microplastics that the Arctic Council working groups for the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) and the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) are pursuing.


  • 2 meetings of the Thematic Network per year
  • Launch and pilots of an online learning platform for Deep Dive Beach Litter Analysis in the Arctic
  • Compendium of circum-polar research on marine litter
  • Map engagement and relevant outputs by UArctic members
  • Developing synergies with other groups to organise further events (or side-events to bigger events) and workshops on this topic (or certain detailed aspects)
  • Identification of funding sources for joint research proposals
  • Development of specialized university courses
  • UArctic summer school on Plastic in the marine Arctic – from sources to solutions in August 1-5, 2022; we are looking for opportunities to complete a new Summer School in 2024.
  • Multi-stakeholder Workshop on Strengthening Cooperation on Marine Litter in the Barents Sea, organized in partnership with UArctic Research Office, GRID-Arendal, Northern (Arctic) Federal University, Kola Science Centre and Open Universiteit in November 23-24, 2021
  • UArctic Thematic Network Workshop on Arctic Plastic Pollution, organized in partnership with AMAP and PAME in April 12-13, 2021. Workshop notes here.
  • UArctic Congress 2021 session: A circumpolar approach to address Arctic plastic pollution, May 19 2021.

Other Information

Arctic plastic pollution 101 from GRID-Arendal on Vimeo.


Anna Sinisalo, former Lead of the UArctic Thematic Network on Arctic Plastic Pollution



Thematic Network cross-links: UArctic Thematic Network on Ocean Food Systems