The royal family witnessed plastic pollution and the effects of climate change closely following their Svalbard visit.
The reason for the royal visit is that UNIS, the world’s northernmost educational institution, is celebrating its 25th year. On Thursday, the royal family was handed garbage bags by the Governor, something the grandchildren used to pick up rubbish.
“It is serious, but not so strange that the plastic ends up in Svalbard. The currents go north and south and take everything. But it is sad to see,” says King Harald to NRK.
Crown Princess Mette-Marit said that they had seen the effects of climate change in the sea ice during their boat trip.
“We have seen glaciers melting at record speed. They have been retreating these last five years. And then there’s a lot of plastic pollution here. We found a beach to the north where there were large amounts of plastic that have drifted with the sea,” says Mette-Marit to NRK.
The entire royal family has been on a private tour of the Arctic archipelago since last week on the royal ship Norway ahead of the official visit.
On the visit were both King Harald and Queen Sonja, as well as their children Crown Prince Haakon and his wife Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Princess Märtha Louise and all five grandchildren of the royal family.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today