Young environmentalists found out microplastics

Friends of the Baltic took part in an environmental city forum "Green light for St. Petersburg!", which was held on March 12 at Center of Ecology and Biology "Krestovsky ostrov", one of the largest Russian additional education institutions in the ecological and biological field. This forum is a platform for active school students interested in natural sciences, where they get acquainted with each other and with experts of public environmental organizations, movements and initiatives. This year experts from Friends of the Baltic, volunteers from Razdelny Sbor and founder of the "Clean Games" project shared the experience with teenagers from the environmental groups of the Russian school movement. 

Friends of the Baltic experts, Elizabeth and Victoria, held a working group in which they gave a definition for marine and explained how it differs from the waste we see on the streets, how much waste gets into the oceans, and what happens to them there. The problem of microplastics was also discussed: where it comes from, how microplastics behaves in water and in which way it can be dangerous for living beings. First, the group members tried to put together numbers and concepts correctly. For example, "area of the Great Pacific garbage patch” = “1.6 million square km", "about 250 rivers flow into the Baltic sea." After the discussion about problems, the experts suggested that students think about solutions that will help clean the oceans and prevent waste from entering the water. Participants suggested actions of different levels - from legal restrictions to filters for sewage treatment plants, collecting microplastics from wastewater.

Volunteers from Razdelny Sbor movement told about the types of recyclables and labeling. They brought real examples of recyclables that you can feel and twirl in your hands.  Real examples help to form a correct vision of waste: it is not garbage, but recyclable materials. 

The founder of the Clean Games, Dmitry Ioffe, explained how to organize a cleaning game on their own, what formats can be used and how to build a team. 

For the second year forum "Green light for St. Petersburg!" is held on the basis of the Ecological and biological center and brings together winners of natural science Olympiads, the best environmental groups of the Russian movement of schoolchildren and participants of natural science shifts of the camp "Sirius" to acquaint the future generation of activists, scientists and social activists with the experience of successful projects from environmental protection and education experts.