I know – never challenge the Captain. But as the Scientific Officer on board I thought I might have a chance. During the sampling we picked up some ‘macro’ plastics. It was a beach air mattress (a li-lo according to deck mate Megan…) and a piece of white plastic and they were named ‘catch of the day’ by the crew. In the evening we analyzed the macro plastics with our micro NIR-camera to identify what kind of plastics we had found. My guess was a plastic used in large quantities with a density lower than water so it would float. I chose polyethylene. Our Captain, Eric, went for a PVC like plastic, just because he was out of options. The NIR spectra of ‘the catch of the day’ measured in the evening were to my surprise very similar to our reference of PVC. All three were PVC like plastics probably with a large percentage of plasticizers (DEHP). We will check this in more detail in the lab. The Captain got his reward (an ice cream) when we sailed into Sandhamn.
Our Captain Eric (in the middle) together the Project Leader Anna (to the left) and crew members getting ready for another sampling round.
– Bert van Bavel, Scientific Officer Simrishamn-Sandhamn, Baltic Sea Discovery expedition with MTM Research Centre, August 9, 2014
Please note: This entry is out of sequence. It was written by Bert on August 9th. Our blog team apologizes for this error.
This post originally appeared on the Baltic Sea Expedition 2014 blog here.