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Sail & explore association


our mission

We advocate about environmental plastic issues, and the impact of microplastics on the environment, human health and marine conservation by combining sailing, scientific research, and education to create new knowledge, strengthen awareness, implement strategies and find solutions 


Nanoplastic Publication


In the field of nanoplastic research, well-defined reference materials or mimics are needed to conduct first studies on the uptake, distribution, detection,
identification, and quantification of nanoplastics in the environment and their possible impact on animal and human health. We hereby present a simple approach to synthesize different nanoplastics at sizes below
< 100nm diameter! 


We are very happy to announce our new partnership with NOAA. Sail & Explore will help to improve and expand their global microplastics database with data provided by our globally conducted expeditions. The data will help other scientists and environmental managers better understand and manage the rapidly-growing marine microplastics problem.


We got broadcasted on the Swiss science tv show Einstein: "Far more plastic ends up in the environment than previously thought, confirms research by the Sail & Explore Association. It is estimated that as much as 20 tons of microplastics float from rivers into the oceans every year."



We are very proud to announce, that we became a member of the UN global partnership of marine litter. We are looking forward to fruitful projects and collaborations with the UN-network.


Swiss Ambassador Bichet-Anthamatten visited a scientific expedition led by the Sail & Explore Association in the Whitsunday Islands. The Swiss association combines sailing, science and education to take action against global plastic pollution of the oceans.


Every year approximately 400 million tons of plastic waste are being produced which can then end up in the environment, where they become brittle and break down into micro- and nanoplastic particles.

By 2040, the amount of plastic waste entering aquatic ecosystems could nearly triple from 9-14 million tons per year in 2016 to an estimated 23-37 million tons per year.

The 2017 United Nations Clean Seas Campaign estimated that there are 51 trillion microplastic particles floating in our oceans. But exact numbers on the prevalance of smaller-sized microplastics (below 0.3 mm) and their potential impact on the environment are missing.


our science

Together with our global scientific collaboration partners, we are focusing on aquatic fieldwork studies from the oceans to mountain lakes, studying the possible impact of micro- and nanoplastic particles on human health. To achieve these goals, we are synthesizing the world's first nanoplastic particles made from materials used in packaging industry which are marked with molecules for their detection in complex environments and tissues. 



MP human health.png

Human health



Our Science


Our workshops provide a unique opportunity to interested participants to meet up with international scientists working on marine environmental topics, joining scientific lectures and following the scientists into the field, to learn and assist with scientific solution-oriented projects and to support and interact with policymakers and stakeholders

The workshops involve several phases to investigate and understand plastic waste streams and leakage on islands, and to identify and initiate projects that could be long-term solutions to the plastic waste problem.

Workshop Elba

WORKSHOP phase iii


23.-29.JUNE 2024

Phase I: Baseline assessment development

Phase II: Project elaboration and testing

Phase III: Elba Microplastic Survey Report



Take action and be part in one of our scientific expeditions, explore new areas, test new technical developments and methods for the plastic sampling and actively participate in the data collection on smaller-sized microplastics (< 0.3 mm). Meet and get educated by local researchers on the boat, get daily lectures and learn how to sail or improve your existing sailing skills.

The data gathered during each expedition is published in peer-reviewed scientific journals to make new knowledge visible, educate people, raise awareness and support policymakers.


FEatured in

Nature Magazin
National Geographic
SRF Schweizer Fernsehen
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