The Zero Waste Future, a program fully-funded by The Coca-Cola Foundation, is an ambitious program that aims to accelerate the behavioural change required to make the circular economy and recycling part of people's hearts, minds and everyday routines. Marine litter is an increasing cross-sectoral global challenge with no geographic/political boundaries. To this extent, the Zero Waste Future stall at Science in the City, held in Valletta on 27th September, focused on raising more awareness of the impact that marine litter has on the aquatic environment.
Representatives from AKTI Project and Research Centre, an NGO tasked with the implementation of the Zero Waste Future Program, together with representatives of GSD Marketing Ltd, interacted with visitors through a number of activities such as ‘Fishing for Litter’. The activity was very popular amongst children visiting the stall as it entailed fishing litter out of a pool. followed by an education conversation about the litter item’s origin, its degradation time and its effects on marine wildlife.
To further demonstrate the effect of plastic litter on marine wildlife, rubber bands were twisted around the fingers of visitors, who then had to try to untangle themselves without the use of their other hand. This creates notable levels of empathy for marine wildlife that often end up trapped and tangles in litter. Children also had the opportunity to create their own bookmark using recycled popsicle sticks and 3D-printed marine animals, made from recycled plastic bottles.
The Zero Waste Future Is further addressing the serious issue of land and marine litter through an ongoing waste characterization study in Birgu, on-the-go recycling initiatives, educational campaigns in schools and the setup of a mobile zero waste stall that engages citizens through information campaigns about the importance of disposing and recycling waste in a responsible manner for our benefit and the benefit of all future generations.