Quirky Cruise
June 4, 2019

QuirkyCruise News: June 16 #CleanupforSarah

 June 16 #CleanupforSarah.

By Anne Kalosh.

People around the world will carry out cleanups in their local environments on June 16 to mark the birthday of Sarah Auffret, who dedicated many years of her life to protecting the marine environment in polar regions.

To honor environmentalist Sarah Auffret, #CleanupforSarah on June 16 was created.

Sarah Auffret, in Svalbard, dedicated her career to protecting the environment. * Photo: AECO

AECO Environmental Agent

As environmental agent for the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO), Auffret was responsible for initiatives affiliated with the United Nations’ Clean Seas campaign. She led AECO’s efforts to drastically cut back on single-use plastics aboard Arctic expedition cruise vessels and enhance passengers’ involvement in regular beach cleanups.

Last summer alone, tons of marine litter were removed from at least 127 documented cleanups by cruise ships operating in the Arctic.

Here, a polar bear with waste in Svalbard.

Sarah Auffret worked to encourage beach cleanups. Here, a polar bear with waste in Svalbard. * Photo: ©Adam Rheborg PolarQuest

Perished in Ethiopian Airlines Crash

On March 10, Auffret was en route to Nairobi to talk about the Clean Seas project in connection with the UN Environment Assembly when her Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed soon after takeoff from Addis Ababa. There were no survivors.

An avid supporter of environmental issues, Auffret inspired a huge number of people to be part of the solution. Friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances from around the world have pledged to take action on June 16 and will carry out cleanups of beaches and other areas as a way to honor her memory.

AECO is encouraging people to use this date to rally together to clean up plastic litter in their outdoor environment, on a beach or anywhere else. This could be a community or individual effort, a social work event for staff, or an opportunity for cruise ships to educate passengers further about how easily plastic waste ends up in the marine environment and what to do about it.


According to AECO, June 16 cleanups ranging as far afield as Asia and Australia, Europe and North America are planned.

The association would like to hear of any efforts made to reduce plastic waste in the environment on this date at AECO also encourages everyone to share their efforts on social media using the hashtag #CleanupforSarah.

We at QuirkyCruise endorse and salute this effort.

Polar bears munch on plastic waste.

Sarah Auffret worked to combat marine litter in the polar regions. Here, polar bears munch on plastic waste. Photo: Kevin Morgans for AECO

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