Photographer backs anti-plastic mission aboard Greenpeace ship

ITS arrival in the Capital was shrouded in controversy after port officials blocked the Esperanza from berthing at Leith Docks earlier this week.

The Forth. Picture: Rob McDougall
The Forth. Picture: Rob McDougall

But now the News has been given an exclusive insight into life on board the Greenpeace vessel thanks to Will Rose, a freelance photographer among its 25-strong crew.

The ship arrived in the Forth on Wednesday as the environmental charity looked to garner support for a deposit and return bottle scheme to help reduce plastic waste.

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Will, 37, joined the ship to help document the team’s efforts, which has so far seen him taking a dip in the North Sea with an underwater camera to film their trawls for plastic.

The Esperanza. Picture: Greenpeace

The snapper got involved with Greenpeace back in 2006 and his time with the charity has taken him all over the world, from China and India to Greenland and the Svalbard archipelago.

But despite having travelled to such exotic climes, Will said it was great to be in the Capital after growing up just a “stone’s throw” away in north Northumberland.

And according to Will, Edinburgh could be just the place to help spread the word about cutting down on plastic waste.

“It would be great if Scotland took the lead and helped reduce the tonnes of plastic going into the oceans.

Picture: Greenpeace

“I have faith in Scotland to be leaders on this issue – it’s very forward-thinking so I hope [it] does take that up.”

Esperanza’s arrival in the Capital comes after a Greenpeace poll of Scottish citizens revealed 90 per cent of respondents had “some concern” about ocean plastic.

This time Will is only travelling for a couple of weeks, but previous stints have taken him away for more than a month. So what is life actually like on board the ship?

“In a lot of ways it’s like being in the Big Brother house, I imagine – being locked somewhere,” he joked.

The Esperanza. Picture: Greenpeace

“I’ve [previously] done a six-week stretch without seeing land and it’s a really bonding experience.

“You feel really separated from what’s happening in the world so that forces you to be more social.

“You develop really strong working relationships and that’s the rewarding thing.”

Will admitted this was now countered somewhat by the difficulty of spending time away from his family, as his travels mean he has to leave fiancée Kajsa and their two-year-old son Arvid at home in Sweden.

Picture: Greenpeace

But for Will it is his passion for the environment which spurs him on, as well as the chance to see places far off the typical tourist trail.

Coming to cities like Edinburgh also offers Will the chance to challenge people’s views of the charity.

He added: “People have certain preconceived ideas of what Greenpeace is like but it’s incredibly varied and there are some amazing people.

“I might meet someone who doesn’t like Greenpeace and then you start talking and they realise you are normal people who just want to have a bit of a better world for their kids.”