Riverine litter is a major source of ocean pollution. Communities in-land located up-stream rivers often do not feel connected to the ocean. This citizen science program is directed at junior & high school students and their teachers Plastic Pirates

Everything that lands in streams and rivers can be washed into the seas and oceans – plastic waste for example. It endangers animals and finds its way into the marine food chain. However, the presence of plastic waste in Indonesian and global waterways is largely unexplored. Our citizen science project “Plastic Pirates – The Sea Begins Here!” designed for young people between 10 and 16 is helping to close this gap in knowledge. “Plastic Pirates” is a citizen science campaign contributing to research on the distribution of macro- and micro plastics along rivers.

The citizen science program ‘Plastic Pirates – the sea starts here!’ explores the issue of micro- plastic and macro plastic in the environment and the impact of plastic waste that is carried into the seas via inland waterways. Using the program booklet as a guide, young people will be invited take samples of micro plastic and macro plastic in and around flowing water- ways, evaluate them and submit their results to the scientific community. Citizen science projects give people interested in science an opportunity to play a hands-on role in the research process. In this instance, the project is a practical invitation for young people to think more closely about an issue.

Young people between 10 and 16 will be invited to join a pilot to undertake a scientific expedition as “Plastic Pirates”. Just like real scientists they explore the waterways to find, count and document macro plastics – such as the remains of plastic bags, discarded plastic bottles or tangled fishing lines – and micro plastics, which are barely visible micro particles. The groups will document their results on a digital map.

The program development is an initiative by the German Federal Ministry for Research and Education – https://bmbf-plastik.de/en/plasticpirates

The learning materials are copyrighted. Indonesian Waste Platform received permission to adapt and translate the learning materials for Indonesian youth, educators and researchers.

Needs funding for pilot