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Kids clean up Poetto beach during Plastic Hunt

A small, great success for the clean-up organized on 9 October by the MEDSEA foundation for the Sardina Grand Slam, Cagliari’s stage of the kite surf world championship. The clean-up involved the very young pupils of the “I Pini” Primary School, which reminded us how civic education and respect for the environment start at an early age. Leading the activities was Sofia Bonicalza, 23, athletics champion and marine biologist, MEDSEA ambassador.

Despite her young age, Bonicalza has been involved for long time in environmental initiatives. An example is the Run For Oceans Challenge, set up by Adidas in support of Parley's Global CleanUp Network: a race to spread the SOS of the environmental impact of plastic.

Bonicalza’s "call to beauty" began in 2019 at La Maddalena, when she began collecting abandoned waste along the wonderful Sardinian beaches. Hence the idea of giving life to the Plastic Hunt project, a global cleaning event, a treasure hunt but also a conscious challenge: the prize is not to be found in the garbage, but is the clean beach itself. Plastic Hunt arises from the need to reconcile clean-up operations with the restrictions given by the Covid 19 pandemic.

The participants work in very small groups and pursue the race in a completely virtual way. After collecting as much plastic as possible, they must create sculptures out of the collected waste. Everything takes place at a distance, and it must be documented through photos and videos, with the only rule that they are in some way be artistic or in any case singular. The multimedia material is then uploaded to the platform, where the judges' verdict is be published. The first year the initiative saw the participation of 183 teams from 65 different countries, and was supported by various NGOs and foundations, including MEDSEA, of which Sofia is ambassador.

The 9th of October event took place in a similar way: the children were divided into small teams and cooperated to collect the waste found on the beach and on the seashore. Finally, they were taught the art of disposal. Bonicalza not only organizes conferences in universities and schools, where she deals with the environmental problem, but she gives the students a valuable practical lesson in environmental protection, answering to the fundamental question, "What can I do?", responding to the call to beauty.

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