Microplastics, how these young people are fighting against

Microplastics, how these young people are fighting against
Microplastics, how these young people are fighting against
Posted on May 29, 2024 by David Rivory

Students of 1D 3 from the Boissy d’Anglas high school in Annonay went in search of microplastics and contributed to a scientific program of the Tara Océan Foundation.

A true invisible pollution, microplastics (fragment of 1 to 5 mm) today constitute nearly 90% of plastic pollution in the ocean. Where do they come from ? What is their composition? How to reduce them? These are the fundamental questions that occupied a class at the Boissy d’Anglas high school in Annonay this school year.

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Students of 1D general 3 of the high school participated, with 650 other middle and high school classes in France, in the participatory science operation Plastic under the microscope, initiated by the Tara Océan Foundation and its scientific partners including the CNRS, following the Tara Microplastics mission of 2019.

Microplastics on the banks of the Deûme…

Like real investigators and apprentice researchers, 31 students aged 16 to 17 have thus committed to researchers to contribute to the creation of a new database on plastic pollution, from macro-waste to microplastics, which are found on a bank of the Deûme in Annonay.

They went to the site near Riboulon Park in Annonay equipped with gloves, measuring tapes, trowels, etc. to collect, scrupulously following the scientific protocol provided, samples of plastic waste down to the microplastics on the surface.

Back in class, they sorted, identified, quantified and recorded their observations in a spreadsheet and sent the samples to the laboratories. This collection does not stop at the simple observation stage. This project was carried out as part of scientific teaching carried out by the SVT teacher and the physics chemistry teacher.

… In small quantities

The first results provided by the researchers, based on the data collected by the students, made it possible to establish that: a lot of macro waste was collected on the bank but plastics represent only 17% of this waste with a majority of bags of packaging. Some micro and mesoplastic samples were also found.

Tuesday May 14, the project concluded with a live videoconference with the researchers who presented the scientific results of the year across mainland France, followed by an exchange between the researchers and the students.

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