Together with kids aged 9-12 I conducted a beach clean-up Ameland, the Netherlands. Ameland is located in the north of the Netherlands, and is a scarcely populated area. The goal of the collection was to show them how much plastic can be found on a beach… even when it appears to be very clean when you look at the beach from a distance. We collected several garbage bags full of plastic (and other) waste within 30 minutes. Next we identified some of the plastics using a standardized guide.
We found, among other items, the following:
- Shopping bags
- Garbage bags
- Drink bottles
- Beach toys
- Ropes, strings and fibers
- Fishing lines
We discussed how these plastics could impact the environment, including a paper on garbage in sperm whales, and the amount of “invisible”microplastics. A follow-up series of mini-lectures at school will focus in more depth about this issue… to be continued!