Are our fishes eat plastic ?.
We started this eco-patrol only apparently lightly. Sitting all together, we looked at the cartoon ‘Planet Plastic and Pollution’ and the report ‘Micro-plastics in the Croatian Adriatic’. We also prepared a presentation about the harmful effect of plastics on the life of marine animals, and on humans. Through these videos and presentations, the children got an insight into the enormous ecological problem faced by the whole world, and the consequences are disastrous. By 2050, it is believed that in the waters it will be more plastic than fish!
In the first game, we tried to familiarize children with vortex where tons of trashes accumulate to form PLASTIC ISLANDS. The most well-known is the North-Pacific vortex containing 3.5 million tons of garbage. Once the plastic trashes reach the vortex, they can rotate there for decades, gradually decomposing through friction and the impact of UV radiation in smaller and smaller pieces to form MICROPLASTIC. The vortex was mimicked by a kid spiral, and the child in the middle was a captive plastic that was trying to get out of the vortex.
In the second game, children are divided into two teams representing sea currents carrying micro-plastic and plankton to the digestive system of fish. Micro-plastics are represented by caps of red and gray color, and plankton by caps in green and yellow. A digestive system of fish was set as a plastic container. The children were in line team handing hands, a pulse was transmitted, from the last to the first kid, by pressing the hands. The last kid near the caps container had to take a cap and make the quickest transfer to the ‘stomach fish’. At the end of the game we counted more plastic pieces in the stomach of the fish. We hope that this is not the reality of the fish. Indeed, plankton and micro-plastic have great similarities in size and appearance. This resemblance leads to the replacement of plankton with micro-plastic in the food chain of fish and shellfish, which eventually ends up in our organism. These similarities are a big problem because if one day we want to remove the micro-plastic from seas, we would also remove planktons, which would make even more damage to the ecosystem.
In the third game was also dedicated to similarities between plastic wastes and animal food in the seas. This time it was a plastic bag that looks like a medusa in the sea. Medusa represents a source of food for 24 species of fish and 34 species of other marine animals, such as sea turtles. The player who picked up the green cap had the role of a sea turtle trying to catch a medusa, but by mistake it can catch a plastic bag… The role of medusa and plastic bags was obtained by children who picked up blue caps and all others were sea currents. These sea currents were supposed to stop and disturb the turtle turtles, in order to protect the medusa and plastic bags. We have to admit that this game was successful, but in the end, though, the medusa had been eaten.
After this game, we were tired. Indeed this game asked us a lot of energy. We started making artwork and toys made of plastic pieces, collected on different beaches. You could have noticed that in all of our games we always used plastic caps and other plastic packaging. Replacing and reusing plastic packaging is always our goal.
Finally it was time for action, we decided to clean the beach in Betina. We saw and admit that our planet really was contaminated with plastic objects. We also realize that it is time to change the bad habits so far, for example instead of plastic bags we use paper bags…
To conclude, we must point out that as leaders, we were pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm of our eco-patrols in this cleansing action. They showed us and proved that we can rightfully call them ACTIVE PROTECTORS OF THE PLANET.
Thank you, we are proud of them, but the most important thing is that they went to their homes proud of themselves.
See you next time in a new Eco-Patrol!