In June, the first joint clean up for MAELSTROM and In-No-Plastic

A large participation and about three tons of waste collected: great achievements for first clean up of MAELSTROM and our twin project In-No-Plastic, which took place in Venice on the occasion of World Environment Day.

The month of June saw us involved in two very important events, carried out with our sister project In-No-Plastic. The first was the international workshop held on June 3rd, which we have already mentioned and which represented an extraordinary opportunity to learn about other projects and initiatives  working on the problem of marine litter. The second, instead, was the clean up campaign held a few days later in Venice. We want to tell you more about it!

On June 5th, in occasion of the World Environment Day, our first clean up campaign was held, coordinated by our partner Venice Lagoon Plastic Free. The campaign took place in the area of Venice and the lagoon, touching 12 sites, from the city center to the islands, and involving more than 30 local associations. The large number of participants, about 130, was managed in compliance with the Covid-19 restrictions. In addition, the sites identified for the clean up were previously validated by the Italian  League for the Protection of Birds (LIPU), so as to verify that the activities did not constitute a disturbance for birds nidifying in this period the area. A big thank you goes to the waste management company VERITAS (Venice), which not only provided all the necessary materials (such as bags and gloves for waste collection) but also took charge of the non-recyclable material collected.

Clean up events are important occasions, not only to sensitize the citizens on the problem of marine litter, but also to directly involve them in practical activities and at the same time contribute to the collection of accumulated waste in our living spaces. But there’s even more: clean ups provide in fact a concrete help for our project. Of the approximately 3 tons of waste collected, more than 1,500 kilos were plastic: our partner GEES Recycling was thus able to conduct an analysis to understand the different plastic typologies and direct it to recycling accordingly to each type. In addition, the campaign has allowed us to start working on the Marine Litter Tracker App to be developed during the course of the project which will allow to assist operators in identifying the different plastic typologies, as well as tracking the entire recycling process of collected waste.

In short, clean ups happening during the project duration will allows us both to clean up our environment, and to collect important data and materials to better understand and address the problem of marine litter! We are very happy with the great response we had, and now… we can’t wait for the next clean up campaigns, which will be happening in September Porto (Portugal) and later in San Sebastian (Spain)! Stay tuned to have all the information in real time!