In MAELSTROM, we want to implement innovative technologies to mitigate the marine litter problem: litter removal will be based on a bubble barrier system and on an underwater cable robot. Furthermore, and artificial intelligence robot will also help us separating plastic form other collected materials, direct it to appropriate recycling chains. Of course, these are advanced technologies, but… that doesn’t mean we can’t also help! On the contrary, it is from local realities and from engaged communities that significant change takes place: think globally, act locally - this is what it means to be glocal and this is also MAELSTROM’s road for sustainable results!
The Environmental Education Center of Cairo Montenotte (CEA - Cairo Montenotte), in Liguria (Italy), has taken up this challenge. Since the beginning of the project, CEA - Cairo Montenotte has been helping us by involving local primary and secondary schools in the collection of plastic: schools have been provided with a recycled cardboard container in which students will be collecting 2HDPE type plastic - this is the plastic usually found in the caps and detergents’ bottles. Teachers were also provided with an information kit about MAELSTROM, posters about simple behaviors to adopt in order to reduce plastic consumption, a presentation on marine litter impacts and an overall view of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
What will we do with the plastic collected by students and teachers? It certainly won’t be wasted! In fact, collected plastic will be used in the creation of large plastic whales to be exhibited during the three info-days which will take place in Venice (Italy), Porto (Portugal) and San Sebastian (Spain) as part of MAELSTROM citizen engagement activities. These large installations are deeply significant: whales, among the most charismatic and beloved marine animals, are in fact also deeply affected by plastic pollution, so they will be our “mascots” during the next four years. All of this it wouldn’t be possible without the help of CEA - Cairo Montenotte and the schools that have so actively collect plastic!