Science

Synchronised swimmers attempt their World Championship routine in a pool littered with plastic to raise awareness of pollution

They are used to performing their flawless routine in pristine swimming pools.

But these teenage synchronised swimming champions volunteered to attempt it amid the kind of plastic rubbish that litters the world’s oceans.

To raise awareness of marine animals’ plight, Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe performed twirls, kicks and half-somersaults amid plastic bottles and carrier bags.

Their routine, now available to watch online, is part of the Big Bang Fair, which challenges young people to use their scientific and engineering skills, often to address environmental issues like plastic pollution.

Around a third of all plastics produced, or 104 million tons annually, find their way into the oceans and natural world.

In some parts of the world, like Bali, the material forms plastic ‘slicks’ of litter which fish are forced to battle through just like the swimmers.

Miss Shortman, 17, who is a national junior champion in synchronised swimming, said: ‘I am very inspired by the finalists of The Big Bang Competition who have developed new and innovative ways to tackle the plastics epidemic head-on.

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