Plastic Pirates 5th General Assembly in Vienna
Date of Publication:

In December 2023, the Plastic Pirates partners from across Europe met for the 5th General Assembly. The practitioners and experts came together to exchange on best practices and jointly plan the future of the initiatives. Some highlights include:

Data Consolidation

One of our primary objectives is to consolidate the data collected through sampling campaigns across Europe. Led by the VLIZ team in Belgium, we're working to harmonize national datasets. The aim is to make this comprehensive dataset freely accessible on EMODnet and Zenodo platforms by mid-2024. In the meantime, you can still access national data through our website.

Microplastic Analysis Review

Microplastic analysis is a key part of the Plastic Pirates protocol. The team of Plastic Pirates experts jointly reviews both the collection and analysis processes. This review serves to ensure the harmonization of our protocol while enhancing user-friendliness for both participants and scientists alike.

Scaling Citizen Science Initiatives

The Plastic Pirates initiative has started on a comprehensive review of its experiences in scaling a citizen science initiative, both at the international level and within national and local contexts. Our objective is to highlight the success factors and challenges encountered along the way, with the goal of formulating practical recommendations for the benefit of other citizen science initiatives worldwide. International experts have been engaged in reviewing and discussing the initial draft of this document. Their invaluable input and insights will contribute significantly to shaping the final version, which is slated for publication by the end of 2024.

Planning 2024

Looking ahead, we're excited to chart the course for the year 2024 and beyond. Our focus includes preparations for the Plastic Pirates Stakeholder Event scheduled for October—a key opportunity to enable engagement between policy makers, scientists, practitioners and participants. Discussions on long-term strategies are also underway to ensure the continued success and growth of our initiative.

Stay tuned for more updates as we navigate the seas of sustainability together.