BioN-TT: Let's start with Jasmine and Nico!

 

“Within the BIO No-Trash Triangle program we will have a synoptic overview on the marine plastic problem in this region covering all coastal habitats and levels of the food web. We need to understand the problem in depth and we have to stop it at the source!“ said Marco Segre - owner of Coral Eye Resort and marine biologist himself.

Since he opened Coral Eye in 2011, he is offering 6 scholarship per year to students with different project related to tropical marine environment, but from now on he will give priority to the ones dedicated to the impact of plastic on the marine environment.

And here they are! Jasmin Müller and Nico Bill from Oldenburg/Germany - guided by Prof. Peter Schupp - will stay for two months on Bangka Island to study the distribution and impact of plastic waste on the coastal ecosystems in the area. They will conduct a baseline analysis of plastic waste on the beach and in the adjacent reef and investigating the impact of plastic on coral and fish.

Welcome guys!

 

Pilot Experiment

 

In March 2018 first action was taken with a short visit by Prof. Dr. Gilian Gerke - a waste management and recycling expert from the University of Magdeburg/Germany - and the arrival of her master student Julia Giebel. Under the guidance of this initiative, Julia and helpers from Coral Eye, Sea Souls, Murex Dive and Blue Bay Divers resorts, sorted and analyzed the stored waste that Coral Eye collected on a stretch of 100 meters of beach during six weeks from November to December 2017. 

First data analysis by Julia indicate that more than half of the volume is made up by single-use water bottles and cups. Many of these items were produced by major American and European companies, showing the globalization also of marine plastic pollution, of which governments and businesses alike should be more concerned.

The outcome was exciting and disillusioning at the same time. The results show that over two thirds of the total weight of the beach waste is recyclable and has an, albeit low, economic value. But the market value of the collected plastic is too low to allow for an economically sustainable management, i.e. it does not pay all the expenses. However, based on these analyses the Bangka consortium of resorts decided to start the project anyway.