For the third year running, two schools will analyse the sand from two beaches in Menorca to determine the presence of micro and mesoplastics.
Thanks to the support of the Sa Nostra Caixa de Balears Foundation and Bankia, through their call for Environmental and Sustainable Development, with the three sections of GOB in Menorca, Mallorca and Ibiza, continuity has been given to the citizen science project that started in Menorca in 2021.
Microplastic Watchers is a citizens science marine project integrated with the Observadores del Mar platform, that collects data on the presence and quantity of micro and mesoplastics in the sand of the beach, in order to work on the diagnosis and make aware of this global problem. Taking advantage of the location, a series of activities are carried out focussed on showing the participants the natural values of the coastal ecosystems and the problems that are found with them.
This year, the Primary School, Margalida Florit, in Ciutadella will be in charge of analysing the sand at Algaiarens in la Vall, and the Primary School Verge del Carme of Maó will work on the beach of Son Bou, to the south of the Island.
From the start of the project in January 2021, samples of sand have been collected and analysed each month as we published in July 2022.
Looking at the collected data, interesting information can be drawn. For example, on the Son Bou beach, on the conservative side, the data indicates that there could be more than a million and a half plastics (micro and mesoplastics) and that on the Algaiarens beach we found an average of 171 fragments per square metre.
Therefore, the samples analysed on this course will help to give accurate information on the degree of contamination from plastics that our beaches suffer. At the same time, we hope the activity will help the pupils as well as their families to understand more about the coastal ecosystems and raise awareness on the huge problem of plastic waste in the marine environment.