The Project Objectives
Why have the partners launched this project?
The European Green Deal (https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en) tells us that we must work together in an international context to improve global environmental standards. In addition, we notice that COVID- 19 imposes several restrictions to achieve these goals. We are again producing more waste such as plastic cups and packaging, dustbins are overflowing with used mouth masks. A few months ago, we conducted a survey in our school, asking the students about their knowledge on plastic waste, recycling, how much a plastic bottle needs to break down, etc. Needless to say, the answers were rather disappointing and this is the reason why we decided to start this project in the first place. Every day we hear the news about the huge pollution with plastic waste all over the world and if nothing changes, it is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. We believe that a strong, clear message is needed and we want to spread that message with this project.
Which objectives does the parntership want to achieve?
The main goal of the project will be to reduce the amount of single use plastic and to increase awareness of the impact ofplastic waste on the environment. At the beginning of the project, participants will measure the average amount of single use plastic. Our goal is to reduce this by 50% by the end of the project. This does not only mean buying less plastic, but first of all switching to recycled materials. With this reduction, we are sure to develop new, positive habits that will be noticeable for years after the project. Through the dissemination process, we want to spread the impact to all the pupils and teachers of the partner schools, so that we can ensure that our project has the sustainability we are looking for. All the tips and tricks will be included in a "Good practices e-guide" that will be used by participating schools as well as other institutions.
The second objective is to raise awareness among all students, through the dissemination process, of the problem of plastic pollution and the need to stop polluting rivers, seas and oceans. The following activities will take place in partner schools: best practice presentations about how the school is trying to reduce plastic waste, creating a comic book, clean-up actions, organizing Planet Earth Days, switching to more sustainable materials, lessons on environmental education, guest lectures,visits to recycling factories, etc. Each school will have a specific set of objectives and responsibilities during the exchange
activities", which will be chosen according to the experience and expertise of the school.
What makes this project innovative?
By sharing ideas/practices/experiences every school will increase their expertise to improve environmental habits, particularly concerning plastic reduction. Therefore, the project will contribute to innovative practices and behaviour in each school.
This project is innovative because it allows the development of learning experiences that will prepare students to lead the world towards a cleaner and more sustainable future. Creating a comic book and an e-book, participating in clean-up actions, organizing Planet Earth Days and participating in workshops are examples of activities that will require a constructivist, cooperative and problem-based teaching and learning approach. Students will be actively involved to address the environmental problems the world faces (mainly plastic waste), trying to find solutions to solve them. This can bringabout innovative solutions.
This project is connected to real life, to real problems, so it is meaningful. Consequently, students will feel engaged and connected to a purpose: waste reduction in their schools and local communities. Therefore, they will develop problemsolving abilities. A real-life problem will be presented to them (plastic waste) and they are expected to be creative, to innovate, to make changes in their behaviour.
Through active teaching and learning methodologies students will learn by doing and by problem-solving. The effective useof digital learning tools will increase students’ engagement and it will create more inclusive learning environments. This way,students will work together to share thoughts and ideas. They will work together to solve shared problems and it can result in innovative and creative solutions to be applied in different partner schools and local communities.
What is the added value at European level?
With united ideas you always achieve more. Gaining experience and expertise on the ground creates added value. Sharing local best practice ideas, comic book creativity, discussion increases understanding. Different cultural visions will enrich the design of the comic book.
The global problem of plastics also requires a global, common approach to solving this major problem. Each individual attempt is valuable and contributes to the solution. The development of the E-book will be extremely valuable due to the many contributions from 6 different countries, with different experiences and opinions from all the local institutions and will lead to new insights for schools.
From previous projects, host families play a very important role in the development of the European mindset of the students. This is the start of a unique experience that awakens European citizenship, which they will carry with them all their lives.