Plastic in water during Volvo Ocean Race sad to see, says Annalise Murphy
Last Updated: 24/01/18 1:41pm
Turn The Tide on Plastic crew member Annalise Murphy says more awareness needs to be raised on the issue of plastic usage after the "sad" human influence she has seen during the Volvo Ocean Race.
The 27-year-old is on board the Turn The Tide on Plastic boat, which is partnered by Sky Ocean Rescue - a campaign that aims to shine a spotlight on the issues affecting ocean health, find innovative solutions to the problem of ocean plastics, and inspire people to make small everyday changes that collectively make a huge difference.
Since it was launched on January 24, 2017, Sky has removed plastic water bottles, plastic straws, cups and cutlery across its European sites and as a result has reduced its plastic bottle usage by more than 300,000.
The Irish sailor, who won the silver medal in the women's laser radial at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, described the "massive human influence" she has seen in the oceans during the race so far.
"We have come across a huge amount of plastic, just seeing it quite often floating in the water. On Leg Two from Lisbon to Cape Town, we saw a wheelie bin floating around in the middle of the ocean, 1000 miles off land," said Murphy, speaking from Hong Kong on the one-year anniversary of Sky Ocean Rescue.
"Small things - bottles, we saw a potato peeler and flip-flops were quite common. It's amazing you're in these beautiful tropical waters, hundreds of miles from land and there's such a massive human influence on what's happening and it's pretty sad to see."
Meet TTOP's Annalise Murphy
Annalise Murphy talks to Turn the Tide on Plastic skipper Dee Caffari about life at sea during the Volvo Ocean Race.
Murphy's involvement in the campaign has changed her outlook on the issue and she says more awareness needs to be raised to highlight the campaign's importance.
She said: "We're trying to raise awareness. I thought I was a pretty good person for recycling and being careful about not using too many plastic bottles of water, but since I've joined this team I really realised I could have done a much better job and I've changed my whole outlook on it.
"I haven't bought a plastic bottle since July and I have my own coffee cup so I try not to use takeaway coffee cups from coffee shops."
She added: "The more awareness that is raised about it, the more people are going to understand we need to change our habits."
The next leg of the race starts on February 1, with the Turn The Tide on Plastic crew aiming to be in the top of the fleet as they head to Auckland.
Murphy said: "We're just going to be pushing to try and be in the top part of the fleet on the next leg going down to Auckland.
"We're learning a lot as a team, I started out as a complete rookie in this race, I'd only done dinghy sailing at the Olympics, so I've been on a rollercoaster."