Published: 18/05/2017 07:00 - Updated: 16/05/2017 14:54

Greenpeace boat makes stop at Inverness

Written byBy Rachel Treasurer

The boat docked at Clachnaharry.
The boat docked at Clachnaharry.

A GREENPEACE boat made a pit stop in Inverness as part of its voyage around Scotland to research the impact of plastic pollution.

The Beluga II vessel is sailing around the coastline of Scotland in a bid to determine how much of an effect plastic pollution is having on Scottish waters.

The boat left Leith on May 5, going up to Bass Rock before coming into Inverness on Friday.

It stopped off overnight in the city with members of the team taking part in the Nairn Harbour Day on Saturday where the environmental group Greenpeace had a stand.

Campaigners claim the majority of seabirds have plastic in their stomachs which they have eaten and cannot digest.

The boat sailed underneath the Kessock Bridge at around 2pm on Friday before reaching the Muirtown Basin.

The research is building up to a big push by Greenpeace to try and make people and companies think more about plastic pollution.

The organisation wants to introduce a bottle deposit scheme which would reduce the plastic footprint companies and the public are making on the environment.

Throughout the voyage the crew on the ship, as well as the land crew, have switched over with a variety of people involved in the research.

The boat is also expected to make its return to Inverness at the end of June, depending on weather conditions.

A member of the Inverness Greenpeace group Joanne Paterson said that the boat arriving was a “huge” thing for the capital of the Highlands.

She was there to meet those on the vessel when they stopped off in Inverness.

“It’s basically a scientific voyage around Scotland’s coastline doing research on the impact of plastic pollution,” she said.

“They were sampling microplastics, surveying beaches and investigating birds nests for plastics.

“It was essentially looking at the impact that plastics have on Scotland’s waters.”

It follows Greenpeace activists in London dumping a 2.5 tonne ocean plastic sculpture earlier this month on the doorstep of the Coca-Cola headquarters in London.

The sculpture was dumped in protest of the company’s role in ocean plastic pollution.

The artwork featured seabirds regurgitating plastic while a family enjoy a beach picnic.

To get involved with the Inverness Greenpeace group go along to a meeting which is held on the first Thursday of every month.

It takes place at the Clachnaharry Inn in Inverness at 7pm with everyone invited to attend.

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