Linda Mederake
Ecologic Institute

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 and Havel.

How did you become part of the Plastic Pirate crew?
It was really a lucky coincidence. In 2017 I started working at Ecologic Institute. At that time, our Institute starting coordination of the Plastic Pirates project within the framework of the German national research project “Plastic in the Environment”. The stars aligned and I become part of this fantastic crew.

Captain, Bosun or Deckhand? What is your job within the Plastic Pirates crew?
I mainly coordinate the organizational part of the project and work behind the scenes to ensure that the implementation phase is well prepared and nothing stops the school groups from heading to the rivers to carry out their research. I am responsible (with other members of the crew) for mailing out resource information to our school groups, making sure the hotline is staffed and responding to any and all emails that concern the Plastic Pirates.

How do you personally experience the problem of plastics in our environment?
The problem of plastic is particularly present for me when I am walking outside and see plastic garbage strewn throughout the city. Furthermore, my research deals specifically with the plastic crisis and possible political responses to this problem. That's why I'm very aware of the global dimension of the problem, even though I don't live on the coast and the microplastics problem usually remains invisible to the eye.

What does the Plastic Pirates project mean to you? What is particularly great about the project?
I find it terrific that children and youth can make a real contribution to the body of scientific research on river and stream pollution. Using the data that our Pirates collect, we can make concrete recommendations to policy-makers about how to deal with the huge problem of plastic pollution.

What do they call you aboard the pirate ship?
Mia Dreizahn von den Seelöwinnen (Mia Three-Teeth of the Sealions)