Polar tour operators to participate in third annual Cleanup for Sarah

On June 12-20, the global ‘Clean-up for Sarah’ will take place in honor of Sarah Auffret, a victim of the Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10, 2019.

In addition to working as polar guide, expedition leader and Antarctic base leader, Auffret had a long-standing passion for environmental issues. She led the expedition cruise industry’s efforts to combat marine plastic litter as environmental agent for the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators. To mark her birthday on June 16, people around the world have participated in cleanups every year since 2019.


‘The pandemic has put a temporary halt to our activities and separated people who are used to coming together to create meaningful and educational experiences through polar travel. While we are spread out across the world, these shared cleanup efforts remind us of the impact that we can have and how we can be part of the solution to environmental challenges. Sarah is an example of how one person could touch the lives of so many people and inspire change,’ AECO Executive Director Frigg Jørgensen said.

Both AECO and the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators are encouraging their members to contribute to cleanup efforts and to reduce single-use plastics. The associations encourage participants to share their actions on social media using the event hashtag #CleanupforSarah.

This year’s cleanup will take place worldwide and will be tracked on an interactive map. In previous years, cleanups were organized in Alaska, Greenland, Svalbard, Iceland, Argentina, South Georgia, Australia, Japan, England, the US and a number of other locations.

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