Ocean advocate and skipper Emily Penn has seen first hand how much plastic ends up in our ocean. She has organised the largest ever community-led waste cleanup from a tiny Tongan island, trawled for microplastics on a voyage through the Arctic Northwest Passage, rounded the planet on the record-breaking biofuelled boat Earthrace, and worked on a sailing cargo ship trading western supplies for coconuts.
Emily now splits her time between running eXXpedition; a series of all female sailing voyages whose mission is to collect data and expose the ‘invisible’ microplastic and toxic pollution in our seas; and developing upstream solutions on land with a network of changemakers, industry partners and government bodies.
Prior to this, Emily co-founded Pangaea Explorations, to enable scientists, filmmakers and interested people to gain access to the most remote parts of our planet, via a 72ft sailing expedition vessel. On one trip, whilst collecting globally-pressing data they discovered previously unknown oceanic gyres – huge accumulations of plastic pollution brought together by currents.