First DSJ project day on sustainability co-operated with ocean protection project: Raceforwater Foundation

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Friday, 5.07.19.

The equivalent amount of a dump truck of plastic waste ends up in the ocean every minute. Shocked faces look at Annabelle Boudinot, member of the RACE FOR WATER ODYSSEY team and guest expert at the DSJ project day with focus on sustainability. Students from grades 10 and 11 exhibited their project work from biology and chemistry: In what way plastic is always around and what side effects on the Earth global ecosystems the non-stop consume of plastic products and other anthrophogenic actions induce. Besides films and posters, art and small work shops invited especially lower-grade students to understand and think about their personal plastic use in a playful manner.

Plastic is fantastic – a cheap, colorful and multifunctional material. But does it suit our planet as well as it likewise improved modern human’s life?
Grade 10 investigated many topics that concern plastic use in daily life. Plaste elaste that formed the GDR automobile – the „Trabbi“. High Tech synthetic materials – not to be missed in basket ball shoes and other sports. One student „fasted“ on plastic and shared his experience in a plastic
diary. Students also turned trash into art – the jellyfish lamp calling to environmental action.
Why? In particular in – but not limited to – Indonesia waste treatment and disposal undergo few regulations. Most rubbish is disposed by waterways and then enters the ocean – crucial to sea life and in the end our own health. Illustrated by T. Tröster and K. Derry (gr.11) with micro plastic and their role in the food chain. In addition, illegal burning of (plastic) waste causes high level of air pollution by particulate matter. Throughout 2018, Jakarta’s PM2.5 reached 45.3 micrograms per cubic meter or more than four times the maximum standard set by the World Health Organization (WHO). PM2.5 (up to 2.5 microns) is one of the most dangerous pollutants with the worst health impacts among commonly measured air pollutants. The cause of pollution are the people on land, thus they have to develop solutions.

Already in 2015 the Swiss Foundation Race For Water  ( made the first global assessment of the plastic pollution of our oceans during a scientific and environmental expedition. The findings are clear, “plastic islands” do not exist but at the heart of the oceans languishes a soup of microplastics, which drifts about directed by the great oceanic gyres. „We very quickly became aware that the solution was on land. It is absolutely vital that we prevent plastic waste from reaching the oceans”, explains Marco Simeoni, its passionate founder. Since
2017 a solely on renewable energy running catamaran set sail around the world again, to offer solutions for preserving the oceans from plastic pollution. On June 28th grades 10 and 11 enjoyed an interesting school trip to Batavia Marina, where they had a tour around the Race For Water catamaran. This still can be visited until the end of July. It serves as a platform for research, building co-operations with local institutions worldwide and finally offering information and solutions for preserving the oceans from plastic pollution.
The DSJ exhibition shows a variety of multimedia and also hands-on products: all aiming to question present society’s greedy plastic consume and environmental abuse. Not alone to raise awareness but to show that literally EVERY ONE is able to contribute and establish a sustainable life.
Following the 3 missions stated from Race For Water: LEARN. SHARE. ACT! !
We kindly thank the team of Race For Water for the unique opportunity to share concerns and finding solutions. A big Thank You to all DSJ students in grades 10 & 11 for numerous working hours and motivation! Warmest thanks to Miss Beatrice Fleig-Cottiér for initiation and the school management and staff for making the event happen!
Contact: Dr. Astrid Ahke