The Collaboration in IMPACT
The last few months have seen the launch and progression of Project Impact, a project aiming to fill a vital knowledge gap in understanding the nature and distribution of microplastics within Maltese waters. It is common knowledge that plastic litter makes its way to our seas, and the threats of such visible plastic debris is widely understood. However the extent and implications of degraded plastics or microplastics lack information, and at a local level, few attempts have been made to address this crucial gap.
Project Impact brings together a team of experts from the Malta College of Arts, Science & Technology, the company AquaBioTech Group and the eNGO Zibel. MCAST is the country’s leading Vocational Education and training Higher Education Institution, with over 10,000 students and 640 academics. An active player in numerous local and international projects, MCAST is the coordinator of this project. Bringing expertise in research of microplastics, the Institute of Aquatic Sciences housed at the college will be carrying out the analysis of samples collected in the field, report on findings and capacity building amongst other activities.
AquaBioTech Group is an aquaculture, fisheries and environmental consultancy based in Malta. The company’s environmental department is undertaking the field element of this project, spending days out at sea to collect microplastic samples using scientifically sound techniques.
Finally, the eNGO Zibel has, to date collected over 75 tons of debris, making it the most active NGO in the field of litter collection and awareness on the island. The organization brings the knowledge and resources to run microplastic collection, along with its flair for communication and creation of informative content for the public.
The institutional knowledge and resources possessed by this partnership collectively ensures a high readiness level for successful execution of the project, and effectiveness by utilizing the individual strength of the partner members.