The campaign in spring 2022 was a huge success: more than 3,000 young people carried out sampling in and along German rivers and mapped litter findings. They collected extensive data on water pollution at 173 locations. Now the time has come again: from 15 September to 15 November 2022, youths between the ages of 10 and 16 are called upon to participate in the campaign along with their teachers or group leaders*.
"Plastic Pirates – Go Europe!" is a European citizen science project for clean oceans, rivers and water-related nature. The aim is to raise awareness of the importance and protection of rivers as natural resources and to highlight the added value of international research cooperation.
Participants address the issue of plastic waste in the environment - especially in and around rivers of different types. The accompanying teaching and working materials, as well as the campaign booklet, guide the participants through the campaign and can be ordered by teachers or group leaders free of charge on the campaign website while supplies last.
Participants enter the results of their investigations on an interactive online map. The participating groups and their results from previous action periods can also be found there. The collected data will then be scientifically evaluated. The Kieler Forschungswerkstatt is responsible for the implementation in Germany, together with Ecologic Institute.
During the German EU Presidency in 2020, the campaign was extended to the countries of the Trio Presidency and implemented in the period of 2020 to 2021 as a joint action of the Ministries of Education, Science and Research of Germany, Portugal and Slovenia. Since 2022, the expansion of Plastic Pirates has been supported by the EU Commission, allowing synchronized sampling to take place in a total of ten European countries this fall.