Ecologic Institut

Where do we find your pirate lair – by urban or wild riverbanks or at the wind-swept coast?
I live in Berlin on the banks of the Spree, Havel, Dahme, Teltowkanal and Landwehrkanal, and grown up on the "Swabian Sea".

How did you become part of the Plastic Pirate crew?
Well, it just sort of happened! I'm in charge of the accompanying project for the German research focus "Plastics in the Environment," under whose flag the plastic pirates sailed for quite a while. Since the project is so great, we continue to be involved in it.

Captain, Bosun or Deckhand? What is your job onboard the Plastic Pirates ship?
I am a kind of fire extinguisher or emergency blanket. If there are problems or anything else to organize, I come into play. If everything is going well - which is usually the case, because my colleagues are soooo great! - I don't have much to do, other than keep an eye out on deck for the next storm.

How do you personally experience the problem of plastics in our environment?
In nature, you can hardly get away from plastic waste. It's everywhere, especially cigarette butts and lightweight packaging like candy wrappers. The cigarette butts annoy me particularly, because they would be very easy to dispose of properly, but many think it's cool to just flick the butts away or simply don't know that they contain toxins and microplastics.

What does the Plastic Pirates project mean to you?
The Plastic Pirates project is great because children and young people can already gain insights into scientific work and actively support the collection of data for scientific studies. The knowledge gained in this way is important for making the laws in our country better so that plastic waste finally becomes less.

What do they call you aboard the pirate ship?
Captain Knobel Toe