2022 Changemakers Project. | STM

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More than 20 student led projects to curb plastic pollution, developed during the fifth edition of the Changemakers’ Project, run by Save the Med with the collaboration and co-funding of Fundación Jesús Serra, are now in!

23 student teams from 10 schools from all over the island of Mallorca have presented brilliant ideas on how to reduce single-use plastic waste as part of their participation in the 2022 Changemakers Project.

“The challenge that we offer to the students is to present innovative ideas to fight pollution at its source through the prevention of single-use plastic waste. They can do this through any method or idea”, says Jasmine Spavieri, the Expeditions Coordinator of Save the Med. This year the students have submitted fresh and innovative ideas: awareness campaigns, creative videos, mobile applications, educational talks in their schools – all focused on the prevention of single-use plastics.

Microplastics
Microplastics.

The most impactful project will be announced June 21, when students from the 2022 edition will gather, together with previous years’ participants, in the Finca Son Fortesa in Alaró. The event is free for all Changemakers participants, teachers, and student families.

“This is a chance to celebrate their efforts and meet like-minded young environmental lovers from around the Balearic Islands”, adds Spavieri. The event will include talks, workshops on marine science and waste prevention, video screenings, finger food and live music.

The five teams with the most impactful projects will be invited to join the Save the Med team for marine science expeditions and excursions to explore wildlife in the Mediterranean Sea.

“Plastic pollution is an environmental problem, but also a health and an overconsumption problem. So, the solutions will have a social, community and sometimes political approach”, says Spavieri.

Through their projects, the students propose various methods and ideas to not only make people aware of the issue and science-based solutions, but also to implement real actions in their daily lives that directly reduce the consumption of this material.

“The project aims to propose true or HONEST solutions, as we prefer to call them, that focus on reusable products and packaging reduction”, she stressed.

In this edition of the project, we are delighted to see that the students have understood the problem very well and that they have focused on the direct reduction of the consumption of these single-use products: for example, one of the teams proposes a mobile app for consumers to reduce the amount of plastic packaging in their daily purchases. In Spavieri’s words: “It's a smart idea, the students have seen that the packaging of products in supermarkets is one of the biggest sources of plastic waste”.

Another team identified a problem with the large amount of plastic waste in their school canteens and proposed a solution with the use of reusable containers. Simple and effective.

All projects can be viewed at changemakersatsea.com and we recommend anyone who wants to be inspired to take a look at them!

After the event, the teams that present the two most impactful projects will be invited to join a Marine Science Expedition Week with Save the Med aboard the Bonnie Lass. Other three teams will be invited to a Marine Science Excursion with the foundation. Marine biology activities, microplastic sampling and collection and analysis of plastic pollution in the sea are some of the activities that will take place and, with some luck students might see cetaceans, tuna, turtles and seabirds -a real work experience at sea that they will never forget!

In addition, the classes of the five teams will be able to use an endowment of 500 euros from the Foundation to invest in an environmental activity, excursion, or project.

And, last but not least: if students pitch their ideas to potential funders and/or investors and they find them feasible, students might be offered a possibility to develop their projects further.

We would like to thank Fundación Jesús Serra, Ocean Family Foundation, OceanCare, EOCA (European Outdoor Conservation Association) and CaixaBank with Fundación La Caixa for their continued support and co-funding of Save The Med's education programmes.