Where do we find your pirate lair – by urban or wild riverbanks or at the wind-swept coast?
I am definitely a city pirate. I used to prowl near the Elbe in Hamburg, and now you can find me on the Spree in Berlin. I love to be near the coast though.
How did you become part of the Plastic Pirate crew?
I have been a crew member since 2019. That is when I started working at Ecologic Institute on the research focus “Plastics in the Environment”. The Plastic Pirates was a component of this research focus. I got along with the crew straight away. That is how I became a project assistant for the Plastic Pirates.
Captain, Bosun or Deckhand? What is your job onboard the Plastic Pirates ship?
I suppose I am a deckhand. I make soup out of many different, usually organizational, tasks. Generally, these processes quietly run in the background and ensure that the action periods run without a hitch. One of my jobs is to organize the sending of the resource materials for teachers and students. I also run the hotline and take care of the Plastic Pirates email account.
How do you personally experience the problem of plastics in our environment?
On the one hand, the plastic problem is very tangible, like in the supermarket for instance. But on the other hand, it seems very far away, like when you think about reports on the amount of plastic garbage in the ocean. I think that an appropriate mix of measures is needed, such as education, behavioural adaptation and regulation. We cannot solve this problem entirely on our own.
What does the Plastic Pirates project mean to you?
I appreciate so much about the project. Naturally, the education aspect is a stand out. But I find that the field work and the precise scientific sampling methods can really strengthen cohesion in the crew. And last, but not least, the results make a real contribution to the body of work on plastic pollution.
What do they call you aboard the pirate ship?
You can call me the Fearsome Hook-Handed Jolanda.