VLPF implements the IV Edition of the “Marine Litter Monitoring, Removal, and Circular Economy” Workshop and ML monitoring event in Venice

June 10, 2024
VLPF implements the IV Edition of the “Marine Litter Monitoring, Removal, and Circular Economy” Workshop and ML monitoring event in Venice

On May 30th, the fourth edition of the International Workshop “Marine Litter Monitoring, Removal and Circular Economy: Solutions for the Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters” took place in Venice at CNR-ISMAR , during the International Boat Show of Venice. 

This international workshop, organized in collaboration with the BlueMissionMed Italian HUB and as a partner event of the European Green Week, tackled the critical issue of marine litter.

The event housed representatives of other European projects that contribute significantly to the EU’s mission to protect aquatic environments, as well as partners from diverse industrial, social, and technical backgrounds working to test innovative devices and solutions for monitoring, removing, and recovering marine litter through circular economy-oriented technologies.

Additionally, the participation of a middle school class from the International School of Venice highlighted a strong emphasis on children’s involvement, making the event a crucial moment for knowledge exchange and collaboration.

The workshop provided a valuable opportunity to share scientific and technical knowledge for several European projects, including MAELSTROM, REMEDIES, In-No-Plastic, and SeaClear 2.0. The day was divided into four sessions: Monitoring Solutions Demonstration, Removal Solutions Demonstration, Circular Economy of Marine Litter & Integrated Solutions, and Multi-Stakeholder Mobilization & Mutual Learning. Additionally, an exhibition highlighted significant achievements and results from various projects, including marine litter art pieces installed in the exhibition room.

A special focus was given to the In No Plastic Project, where participants engaged with interactive displays: watched a captivating 3D video illustrating the project’s innovations in the fight against plastic pollution and experienced a virtual reality video through VR headsets. This immersive exhibition provided a comprehensive view of cutting-edge solutions and collaborative efforts in tackling marine litter.

The workshop was tied in, both theoretically and operationally, with the XI edition of the International Clean Up and Marine Litter Monitoring Day held on 1st June, and organized by Venice Lagoon Plastic Free, side by side with the Red Cross and Legambiente Venice, as part of the EU projects MAELSTROM and REMEDIES and in collaboration with the WWF’s Plastic Smart Cities. The initiative was an official event of the UN World Environment Day #GenerationRestoration 

Under the supervision of VLPF, the participants used the app, initially conceived as part of the MAELSTROM project and subsequently developed by the REMEDIES project, which is capable of monitoring the collected waste according to European standards.

During the event, a total of 2,952 items were collected from Secca S. Alvise in the historical centre of Venice. The top four categories of litter found were:

  1. Pieces of glass/ceramic (fragments ≥ 2.5 cm)
  2. Fragments of foamed polystyrene (2.5 cm ≥ ≤ 50 cm)
  3. Fragments of non-foamed plastic (2.5 cm ≥ ≤ 50 cm)
  4. Plastic drink bottles (< 0.5 l)

The International Clean Up and Marine Litter Monitoring Day welcomed participants from diverse backgrounds, united by their commitment to environmental protection. It was an opportunity to promote concrete citizen science activities at the city level for monitoring, removing, and raising awareness about plastic pollution.