Zum Wissenschaftsjahr 2018
Plastic Pirates – The Sea Starts Here!

Plastic Pirates – The Sea Starts Here!

A citizen science campaign for young people

All waterways flow into the sea

School classes investigated plastic waste in German riversEverything 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. We have therefore invited "Plastic Pirates" to undertake a scientific expedition in May or June 2017. Just like real scientists they explored the waterways to find, count and document macroplastics – such as the remains of plastic bags, discarded plastic bottles or tangled fishing lines – and microplastics, which are barely visible microparticles.

The presence of plastic waste in German 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.

The research period was from the 1st of May until the 30th of June. The groups documented their results on a digital map of Germany.

"Plastic Pirates" is a citizen science campaign which contributes to research on the distribution of macro- and microplastics along German rivers. It is part of the Science Year 2016*17 – Seas and Oceans of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and is carried out in cooperation with ozean:labor at Kieler Forschungswerkstatt.

The collected data at a glance (in German)

More information about the campaign

The campaign

Find out how young people can become “Plastic Pirates” working like real scientists. This is how it works.

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The rules

There are a few rules you need to comply with if you want to take part. Learn more about them here.

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Download all the relevant information and working materials including leaflets and the learning materials and worksheets here.

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Editorial Office Science Year 2016*17 – Seas and Oceans
Gustav-Meyer-Allee 25, 13355 Berlin, Germany
Tel.: +49 30 81 87 77-166
Fax: +49 30 81 87 77-125
Email: plasticpirates@scienceyear.de
Office hours: Mon to Fri 9 am to 1 pm and 2 to 6 pm (UTC+1)