TWENTY pupils from the IES Nit de l’Albà de Elche, school have spent two days on Tabarca Island in Spain’s Mediterranean to analyse beach pollution on the nature reserve.
They have also taken the opportunity to clean the shores of accumulated rubbish, filling rubbish sacks with junk found on the beaches and coves of the island, which is off the coast from Santa Pola.
Team leader, Professor Marián Campderrós, explained that “everything comes from a project of the students that we presented to the City Council of Alicante, which has given us the facilities of the CEAM of Tabarca as a base of operations and accommodation for two days.”
The first thing the students did, as soon as they arrived in Tabarca and settled in, was an exploration of the area, to be aware of the waste that reaches the beaches and coves.
Drums, plastic packaging, pieces of boats and all sorts of junk, among which plastic predominates were found.
Teachers Cristina Alarcón and Ana Maria Martinez said that one of the main materials found, which is very difficult to pick up, was tiny pieces of polystyrene or ‘white cork’ which is often the material from which packaged food trays are manufactured.
Marián Campderrós added: “This residue is very small, and not only do we find that it is polluting for the coast, it is also consumed by fish, which confuse it with food.”
In this way, and coinciding with the celebration of the Madrid Climate Summit, the students of the IES Nit de l’Albà have witnessed how small gestures like avoiding dumping waste into the sea can contribute to maintaining the environment.
The teenagers have been able to see that the problem of dumping waste at sea is not solved by simply cleaning. Marián Campderrós said: “One of the things that has most impressed students, is that areas that were cleaned when we arrived, were by the next day covered with plastic waste again.”