This year we have participated in the project “Plastic fishermen” with a group of 1st ESO boys and girls to study plastic pollution in our nearest river, the Ripoll, a tributary of the river Besòs. In order to carry out this activity, the University of Vic sent us the necessary material and the instructions. That is why we divided the class into 5 research teams, which followed the sampling protocols to calculate the water velocity; we collected floating debris, both macro (>5mm) and microplastics (<5mm), with special filters; and we marked the area of the analysed riverbank with measuring tapes.
What were the results? The good news is that we didn’t find any floating waste in the water, but our surprise was that we observed a lot of it on the shore, although at first glance it seemed to be a clear space. Of all the waste we found, the most abundant were wet wipes. These and other results have been summarised in a scientific poster and sent to the University of Vic so that they can put them together with the results of other educational centres in Catalonia.
Finally, this experience has made us aware that single-use plastics are the most abundant among the pollutants in the river, and at the same time the easiest to reduce our consumption.
Therefore, we hope that we can bring this knowledge into our lives and together we can make this world a better place.