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MEDSEA Kids, plastic hunters for a clean sea

"At the beginning, our goal was not only to clean up the sea but also to reduce CO2 emissions by planting trees, many trees. Trees, with oxygen, can compensate for the damage that factories and cars do, so the hole in the ozone layer would be closed, again. But then we got to know the MEDSEA foundation and we did one thing, but I don't know what exactly, because our parents took care of this. How did it go today? Very well, my team, the reds, has collected four plastic cups", says Pietro Zonza, one of the six founders, after the hunting session in the beach.

Driven by the mistral wind, the clouds play with the sunlight in the first stop of the Poetto beach. Windsurfers go to and fro in the flat body of water of the gulf. The 43 small plastic hunters deliver the latest cups containing microplastics and cigarette butts. From the idea of Pietro, Elena, Jacopo, Lorenzo, Rebecca and Benedetta MEDSEA Kids was born, a series of monthly clean-ups having as a goal that of raising awareness among the new generations on the topic of plastic at sea, and as a backdrop the waterfront of the famous Cagliari beach. Divided between the teams of the Reds, the Grays, the Spotted, the Black Devils and the Flying Goats, at the opening whistle they swarmed through the stretch of sand framed between the small port of Marina Piccola and the Palmette beach resort. Equipped with bib, gloves and paper cups, they collected plastics and microplastics, butts, waste of all sorts, spilling then the contents at the MEDSEA banquet, where the garbage turned into points.

“I loved collecting plastic! We got two cups and a cup of cigarette butts! I also collected them at sea. With a tube I reached a plastic bag floating on the shore", says Ginevra. “It's fun because we help keep the place clean. I see the grown-ups throwing cigarette butts on the ground. We must not pollute!”, add cheerfully Elettra, Gemma and Carola. “For us it is the first time, we were curious to see. The children strengthen their environmental attitude and spend an afternoon in the open air", explains Daniela Perpignano, mother of Eugenia and Giulio. "Last year we started a series of activities related to recycling, and this year has been a prevalent theme of our educational path. We will probably dedicate our pack holidays to environmental issues", says Miriam Vilino, leader of the “Cagliari 9" scout group, represented today by a large number of “small wolves”.

The "Plastic Hunt" continues with a quiz game. Bundled behind a line drawn in the sand, the teams elaborate a questions launched by Maria Pala, a MEDSEA expert in environmental sciences, and pass on the result to the partner in charge of winning the right to answer with the race. The time for a snack then comes, and the plastic hunters in a large circle talk and joke among the drinks and sandwiches offered by the Le Palmette kiosk: “It is a real pleasure to host so many children busy in cleaning our beach. We started four years ago to eliminate plastic from our service, that's why the partnership with MEDSEA and #barforthesea was spontaneous", says the owner Giacomo Busonera, quoting to the project with which the foundation and seven other waterfront kiosks began in June to bring down the use of plastic.

The sum is made, and the Black Devils, considering collection and quiz, win the hunt. There will be time to catch up: the plastic hunt will also be repeated in February and March, and will still benefit from the patronage of COR36, responsible for organizing the preliminary races of the America's Cup that will be held in Cagliari between 23 and 26 April. To the event is linked the "Attitude Ocean Award", which invites all Sardinian middle school students to produce an essay on four subjects: climate change, biodiversity, marine litter and food choices awareness.

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