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Researcher at Roskilde University at the forefront when 57,000 children and young people study plastic pollution in Denmark

Pupils at elementary and high schools throughout Denmark will as part of this year’s Mass Experiment carry out the world’s first national scientific mapping of plastic pollution. The results will provide crucial new data about the extent and type of plastic pollution in Denmark.
Naturvidenskabsfestival
Pupils at Sophienborgskolen in Hillerød contribute to the world’s first national scientific mapping of plastic pollution. Photo: Sanne Vils Axelsen.


Plastic pollution is everywhere – also in the Danish nature. Soon we will know how much and what kind of plastic it is. In September, just over 57,000 Danish pupils will participate in Mass Experiment 2019, which is a nationwide mapping of plastic pollution in the Danish nature. The study will be the world’s first national scientific mapping of plastic pollution.

Pupils will systematically collect plastic within a selected area of Danish nature in a random location in Denmark. It may be on beaches, fields, streets, ditches or a forest paths. Afterwards, the pupils will return to their schools to analyse their findings. It may be disposable cups, crisp bags, cigarette filters or plastic covering. Finally, the pupils’ data will be collected centrally.

The Mass Experiment is part of the Science Festival organised by the national Centre for Learning in Science, Technology and Health in Denmark, Astra. The Mass Experiment is developed in cooperation with MarinePlastic, the Danish centre for research in marine plastic pollution – supported by VELUX Fonden.

“Plastic pollution in nature is one of our time’s greatest environmental challenges. We need to map out the extent and the impacts of plastic pollution. It is therefore unique that we now get an extensive dataset that can contribute to new scientific research and documentation. Never before has plastic been collected according to a scientific method at such a massive scale,” says Kristian Syberg, Associate Professor of Environmental Risk at Roskilde University and spokesperson for MarinePlastic.
 

Syberg
Associate Professor of Environmental Risk at Roskilde University and spokesperson for MarinePlastic Kristian Syberg is the scientific anchor of Mass Experiment 2019.