Important information

Important information

How to become a “Plastic Pirate”

Terms of participation and clarification of rights

The “Plastic Pirates” youth campaign is a citizen science campaign which contributes to research on the distribution of macro- and microplastics along German rivers. Citizen science projects allow interested members of the public to participate directly in the research process.

General provisions
Participation in the youth campaign is subject to the terms of participation set out below. In taking part in the campaign, the participants accept these terms and conditions.

The youth campaign is organised by the Editorial Office Science Year 2016*17 – Seas and Oceans, Gustav-Meyer-Allee 25, 13355 Berlin, Germany, Building 13/5 (contact, by email: plasticpirates(at) or by phone: +49 30 81 87 77-166), for the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Project Group Science Year 2016*17 – Seas and Oceans.

Participants (members of a participating group as well as individuals representing their group) should be at least 10 years of age upon submission of their data. The maximum age of 16 should preferably not be exceeded at the time of participation.

Groups wishing to participate must comprise no more than 30 people.

Participation requires parental consent for minors, in particular with regard to the transfer of the right to use any pictures that may be taken over the course of the campaign.

Participants in the draw must be domiciled in the Federal Republic of Germany on the day they submit their research data.

All data must be collected and photos taken between 16 September and 18 November 2016 in order to be considered in the campaign. The collected data and photos must be uploaded onto the website by 11.59 p.m. (CET) on 4 December 2016. Only duly submitted data via this website can be considered for this large-scale study. Data submitted at a later time cannot be considered for the study or entered into the prize draw.

All participating groups from Germany will be entered into a draw where they can win three main prizes (a trip to the sea, a guided canoe trip, or a visit to a fascinating underwater world). Every group that has submitted their data on-line will automatically be entered into the draw. Prizes will only be sent to winners located in Germany. In case the email or postal address of the contact person has been has been entered incorrectly in the registration form, thus making it impossible to deliver the prize, the winner waives all claims to the prize. There is no cash alternative to the prizes offered. The staff of the Science Year 2016*17 project group and their cooperation partners are prohibited from entering the draw. There are also a number of smaller prizes for groups to win, in addition to the three main prizes. All the winners will be notified by 31 December 2016.

Copyright and privacy rights / rights of use of the organiser
In accepting the terms of participation, participants - as individuals and members of a group - consent to the exclusive use of their submitted data and photos without territorial or time restrictions.

This right of the organiser to the exclusive use without territorial or time restrictions includes the publication of the uploaded data as well as the on-line publication of the data and photos on the website, and on the Science Year 2016*17 - Seas and Oceans website, Facebook page, YouTube channel, and Twitter account @w_jahr. The rights of use include the right to transfer and process the collected data for research purposes as well as the right of interested media representatives and partners of the Science Year to publish this research data.

Furthermore, the organiser retains the right to use images displaying the uploaded data and photos fully or in part for future (photo) documentation, the website of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and future printed publications. The organiser is also authorised to use the images without territorial or time restrictions for the purpose of reporting and press releases in relation to the Science Year and pass them to interested media representatives for use in their reports.

In uploading the data and photos, the person filling in the registration form confirms that s/he has the authority to represent the people pictured in these photos. This means where applicable that s/he must have previously obtained the consent of others involved in collecting the data to participate in the campaign.

In participating in the campaign and uploading the data and photos, the participating groups declare (also on the behalf of the individual group members) that the images they upload do not infringe the rights of any third party.

They also confirm that all the people pictured in these photos have expressed their consent to publication and in the case of minors that a statement of consent has been provided by a parent/guardian for the publication of their photos. In uploading their data and photos, they also confirm that the organiser as well as the Federal Ministry of Education and Research are freed of any third party’s legal claims with regard to the uploaded data and photos.

Data protection
Every group shall give itself a unique group name to successfully upload their data. This group name should preferably not be “Plastic Pirates”. Visitors to the website will be able to use the group name to filter all data and photos uploaded by the group.

Personal data is required to process the individual registration forms. Participants will need to enter their group name, name of the contact person, organisation/institution/school, postal address and email address of the contact person. The organiser retains the right to publish the group name as well as the name of the organisation/institution/school and the location on the data map and also when it announces the winners of the draw. No other personal data will be disclosed to third parties and will only be used for the purposes of conducting the campaign. Personal data will be deleted once the campaign has ended.

Exclusion from participation in the campaign and entry into the draw
Should the organiser learn that any participant has performed acts which infringe the privacy rights of third parties, constitute a criminal offence under the German Criminal Code (Strafgesetzbuch, StGB) or else in any way compromise public security and the public order or obstruct peaceful coexistence based on tolerance and diversity, whether in the past, now or in the future, the organiser reserves the right to re-assess the contribution of the participant(s) and where appropriate to exclude them from taking part in the campaign or entering the draw.

Additional provisions
All prizes must be redeemed by 30 June 2017. There is no cash alternative to the prizes offered. The written consent of a parent or guardian is required for minors to claim one of the main prizes.
In case the trip which has been offered as one of the main prizes cannot take place for reasons for which the organiser is not responsible, the prize winners are not entitled to a cash alternative.

Technical requirements
Uploaded photos must not individually exceed 3 MB and should preferably be in landscape format. They should also be in the JPG file format.

Final legal provisions
The organiser assumes no liability for the loss or incompleteness of any data submitted by the participants, unless the loss or incompleteness of data was caused by intentional behaviour or due to gross negligence of the organiser or the organiser’s staff. This also applies to the disclosure of information by third parties due to technical errors during the transmission of data and/or unauthorised access.

Should individual provisions of these terms of participation be wholly or partly void or invalid or subsequently become void or invalid, the validity of the other provisions shall remain unaffected.

Recourse to law
Participants have no right of recourse to the law.

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(at)
Office hours: Mon to Fri 9 am to 1 pm and 2 to 6 pm (UTC+1)