Our Research

A cornerstone of our philosophy is that trash found in the wild will be collected through completely environmentally friendly practices, like sea kayaking. Petroleum fuel should not be spent on collecting plastic. But it’s not just because of that we paddle kayaks. As a paddler at sea you travel very near the islands and coasts, you come much closer these areas than other boats do. You will see these shorelines in more detail than the one in a sailing boat or motor boat will do. A near paddling sea kayaker will see what’s wound along these shores. Other boats also don’t have the same possibility to access nor reach. Smoothly, we are able to access and reach very remote and shallow areas, get out the boat and collect trash. The trash collected are we taking with us, either on or in the kayaks, to the nearest place where we can leave it where it should had end up in the first place. Like in a trash container in a harbour.
In other words, as a sea kayaker we both see the trash that unfortunately exists almost everywhere, and we are able to access and reach it – we are able to do something about what we see – in the very most remote areas of wild nature.

Our research program

Besides picking garbage we make research on marine littering along our shores and in the nature in general. Our research aims to identify and document the extent of littering along different coastal areas. By having developed our own systems for mapping littering, to document and record the trash-situation in different areas, we collect information and feed our research program with new data that are forwarded to other partners. It is very interesting to see the differences in the level of littering along different stretches of coast, and then ask yourself the question ”Why”? In a bigger perspective it’s much about oceanography and geomorphology. In a smaller perspective it’s much about biology and what happends with weathered plastics, called microplastics.

We have seen the reality of the archipelago, along the coast and on the seabed. A reality that, unfortunately, is not only the beautiful nature itself, but also a reality of large amounts of debris. In the archipelagos, along the coasts and at the sea we have found plastic and trash that floats. On the seabed there are even greater amounts of trash, such as metals, glass and other stuff that sink. All this garbage is a big problem for our nature and its’ animals. Not least all microplastic that is the result of weathered plastics. Microplastic eaten by plankton and small fish will accumulate in the food chain, modify natural gene-banks and ultimately end up in the stomachs of humans. One of the pieces to the puzzle of solving these problems could be to collaborate. All together. It’s about changing an attitude. To change the way we handle trash, the way we ultimately treat nature by not applying sustainably thinking. What we want is to try to inspire others to action, and above all, protect our nature from irresponsible behavior. What Paddla för Livet wants to do is to give the action of collecting trash a ”cool” atmosphere. Another thing we want to do is to learn more about what we are doing, and to teach others what we have observed, experienced and come into understanding with. Picking garbage is one thing, making research about the marine littering from the perspective of a sea kayaker, is another.


By combining environmental research in terms of marine littering with outdoor activities such as kayaking, we do something completely new and unique that hopefully is interesting and useful to take part of. Book us for a lecture and we will share some of our most interesting experiences from our journey of adventure and trash.

We do also provide lots of trash documentation and information of observed marine trash, concerning the following:

  • Coast of Sweden
  • Coast of Norway
  • Canals in Netherlands and Germany
  • East coast of Denmark
  • Lake Mälaren in Sweden