• Future

The Northdrift –
A Masterpiece about Original Sin

  • Future

A German beer bottle is washed ashore at the coast of a remote Lofoten Island in the Arctic Ocean. Where did it come from? Has it trav­elled the entire way from Germany? Dres­den film-maker Stefan Krones has explored this ques­tion: with an impres­sive result and an appeal to all of us … an appeal that did not fail to resonate with us, the Valdivia team! It is about the future of our plan­et and our chil­dren, and it is the ocean research boat Valdivia we are named after that navi­gates us.

The UN Ocean Decade

Oceans and the seas cover about 70% of our plan­et. They control the climate, produce air and rain water, provide us with ener­gy, raw mate­ri­als, food, water ways, recre­ation and endless natur­al wonders. And yet, what we know about them is still very incom­plete. Science knows more about the surface of the moon and the mars than about many parts of the deep sea. Apart from that, there is the stress that our oceans are nowa­days exposed to – from the consquences of ever more indus­tri­al­ized fish­ery to the uncount­able amounts of waste gath­er­ing there.

For these reasons, the Unit­ed Nations have declared the years 2021 to 2030 The Ocean Decade. Their goal is to better under­stand the oceans and to sustanaibly ensure a posi­tive future for them: good health, full of life, with protect­ed areas – but also as an econom­ic area for our every­day needs. Seven core goals have been iden­ti­fied for this purpose, the first of which being the reduc­tion of pollu­tion through harm­ful substances such as plas­tic waste. For more infor­ma­tion on The Ocean Decade, go here www.oceandecade.org.

Our Commit­ment for Ocean­ic Life 

We at Valdivia are used to look­ing ahead into the future, making sure we reach our customers’ goals in a sustain­able way by plac­ing the best possi­ble candi­dates for them. So the word Future also serves as a head­line for our commit­ment to sustain­abil­i­ty in envi­ron­men­tal, social and gover­nance ques­tions (ESG). And just like with our Children’s Future Foun­da­tion, we want to focus on one specif­ic envi­ron­ment topic, giving target­ed support and rais­ing awareness.

Find­ing the right topic was not very hard for us. The expe­di­tion of research boat Valdivia, dating back over 120 years, and The UN Ocean Decade are our start­ing point. We want to campaign for the protec­tion of ocean as a habi­tat and, as a first step, make the North­drift project more popu­lar. It deals with one of the most press­ing prob­lems of the oceans, the down­right unfath­omable pollu­tion through plas­tic waste and other harm­ful substances.

Waste Going to Sea

It takes a plas­tic bag as much as 20 years to decom­pose in sea water. Bever­age cans take 200 years, dispos­bale diapers or plas­tic bags 450 years.1 The German beer bottle Stef­fen Krones found at the Lofoten Island coast (North­ern Norway), there­fore, would only have fully disap­peared in 2472.

For Stef­fen Krones, find­ing it kicked off an impulse. Togeth­er with engi­neer Paul Weiß, he built a float­able GPS track­er, released it into the river Elbe near Dres­den and followed it until it reached the Lofoten. With impres­sive pictures, the film docu­ments the route of the plas­tic waste and inves­ti­gates the inter­re­la­tion with the terri­ble pollu­tion of the Arctic Ocean.

It also intro­duces Kris Jensen, an Inuit work­ing as a trav­el guide in the Arctic Ocean. He wants to give tourists an under­stand­ing of the beau­ty of nature with his work, but he also wants to sensi­tize for the influ­ence of humans on the pollu­tion of the oceans. Kris and Stef­fen share the wish to end the plas­tic waste pollu­tion of our world. Their stories, the highs and lows of their strug­gle to present a solu­tion, show­ing how we are in this togeth­er, each and every­one of us, but also how we all have the means to fight for change.

The North­drift – the Film

The film will be screened in select­ed movie theaters until Janu­ary 2023 and will also be avail­able for purchase from early 2023. This website has more infor­ma­tion on the film website  http://thenorthdrift.com. 

Would you like to do some­thing in order to support specif­ic projects and campaign for an end to pollu­tion in the oceans? You can find differ­ent options on the film website – or simply share our post right here on LinkedIn and other social media.

1 NABU (Naturschutzbund Deutsch­land) e. V., 2019