The Year 8 students from Marc Ferrer secondary school enjoyed their prize in Mallorca this weekend
Ibiza, 24-07-2023 – Amaya Huertas and Inés Moya, Year 8 students at Marc Ferrer secondary school in Formentera, were selected in the Junior category of the One Minute for your Island contest in the Kilometres of Plastic for Iris initiative and enjoyed an excursion in Mallorca this past weekend with the scientific organisation Alnitak Research Institute.
Kilometres of Plastic for Iris is a Balearic-wide initiative aimed at young people aged 12 to 19 and is promoted by IbizaPreservation together with its sister foundations in Mallorca and Menorca in memory of Iris, the late daughter of Ben Goldsmith, co-founder of the three entities. The initiative aims to involve new generations in reducing plastic pollution in the Mediterranean.
Organised by 0 Plastic, a movement led by the YouSocial Volunteer association, this third edition saw more than 400 young people from the archipelago participate, 32% of them from Ibiza and Formentera. Collectively they travelled more than 15,000 kilometres to find solutions to the environmental problems posed by microplastics.
This year the One Minute for Your Island contest, which is open to all participants in the initiative, focused on the problem of microplastics. A total of 202 students from the Balearic Islands presented their one-minute video proposal answering the question “What would you do to fight microplastic pollution on your island?”, 26% more than in 2022.
Ideas this year included: manufacturing sun creams based on organic ingredients and without added microplastics with a container made from cactus; or launching a public art and design contest where local artists create works of art from reused materials and where the public can vote through an app that also shows the nearest recycling points.
The winners in the Junior category of Ibiza and Formentera, Inés Moya and Amaya Huertas from Formentera, proposed creating a sand filtering system using a net to capture microplastics and thereby preventing beach pollution. The prize, a one-day sailing trip with scientists from the Alnitak Research Institute, had to be cancelled due to bad weather conditions this weekend. Instead, all the winners in this category cleaned up microplastics on a beach in Mallorca with the Alnitak team, and then took part in a guided tour of the Palma Aquarium Foundation.
“It is wonderful to be able to welcome young people to our project for yet another year, I hope they found the day rewarding. They viewed ghost fishing gear pulled from the waters of the Balearic Islands and were treated to a very special visit to the refuge centre of the Palma Aquarium Foundation to meet the sea turtles which are victims of this practice,” said Alexander Sánchez-Jones, principal researcher at Alnitak.
The winners in the Senior category have already enjoyed their prize, which consisted of a seven-day excursion aboard the Alnitak sailboat Bon Coeur in the Cabrera Archipelago National Park, from July 15 to 21. As there was still space, IbizaPreservation decided to invite two youths from the Padre Morey centre for minors in Ibiza on this expedition.
“It is very important to us that environmental education is truly inclusive and, as it proved challenging to attract interest in the contest in this age category, we were very pleased to be able to take advantage of the opportunity to grant free places on the expedition to two 16-year-olds from the Padre Morey centre for minors, with whom we already had the pleasure of collaborating on the Future Forum,” the foundation’s spokesperson, Kate Benyon-Tinker, explained. She added that a youngster from the same centre also participated in the Junior excursion, courtesy of the foundation.