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Raising awareness of plastic pollution in the marine environment

Horizon 2020 funded project CLAIM brings science closer to people through a series of awareness raising events in key locations. European project CLAIM advances people's knowledge on the negative impact of plastic pollution not only on nature and biodiversity, but also on society and human well-being.

Climate Change and Environment

Through a series of awareness raising events, CLAIM shows the major environmental problem of micro- and macroplastics in seas and showcases ways to tackle it through innovative technologies. CLAIM: Cleaning marine Litter by developing and Applying Innovative Methods has the goal to increase concern of plastic particles in the Baltic and Mediterranean seas, which are the project's case study areas. There, CLAIM will install special devices for preventing litter from entering the sea, as well as collecting and degrading microplastics. "To see our seas clean and plastic-free one day, we need to start by increasing the knowledge and understanding of plastic pollution among people of all backgrounds," explains project coordinator George Triantafyllou from the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), Greece. For the past 2 years, CLAIM participated in major scientific events in key regions within and outside Europe to promote scientific and technological innovations on marine cleaning and to spread the passion for science among children and adults. Festival of Science in France and Italy, 2019 CLAIM took part in the Festival of Science (Fête de la science) in Marseille, France, engaging with science lovers of all ages and advertising a lifestyle with more environmental concern and less plastic. The Festival of Science is a French scientific event, which promotes science to the general public. This year's event took place in several municipalities and focused on the major challenges of the 21st century, including climate change, demography, digital revolution and more. The CLAIM project also participated in the Italian edition of the Festival of Science – Festival della Scienza in Genoa for a second year in a row. Beneficiaries from Italy organised an educational scientific laboratory, where issues with plastic were presented in an artistic way, in order to reach out to both young and elderly citizens. This laboratory called "The Plastisphere – all you need to know about plastics" helped the audience understand complex chemical, physical and biological interactions that influence plastic. The lab also focused on raising awareness on the importance of developing innovative technologies for reducing marine litter and promoting a global cultural change, the so called "blue revolution". European Researchers' Night in Tunisia and Greece, 2018 In September 2018 for the first time, a European Researchers' Night was organised in Tunis, Tunisia with hundreds of visitors getting an insight into research topics affecting society. The objective of the event is to raise awareness of the positive role of research in society, especially among young people. CLAIM took part in the European Researchers' Night with the goal to show what research really does for society and presented ways to clean our seas and oceans to people of all ages. With innovative methods like hands-on experiments, workshops and interactive presentations by researchers, CLAIM addressed the marine pollution issue and showcased technologies for cleaning microplastics. The project also took part in the European Researchers' Night in Athens, Greece, where CLAIM experts answered questions like 'How long does it take for plastics to decompose' and 'How do accumulated plastics in the marine debris affect human well-being?' This enabled many visitors to dive into the scientific world for one day. With the help of slideshows, posters, brochures and postcards in local languages, CLAIM showcased life-changing research in an interactive way, allowing people to meet the faces behind science. CLAIM will continue to innovate the ways in which we clean our seas and raise the concern about the consequences of plastic with a stakeholder event in the Baltic region in 2020.