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In the plastic world... Educational activities for youth as part of Lakes Connect

21 March 2024
On March 20th, at the Hydrobiological Station of the University of Warsaw in Pilchy, educational activities took place concerning microplastic particles circulating in the environment and in our bodies.
Technical details


Ewa Babkiewicz from the University of Warsaw and Piotr Jachimowicz from the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, in cooperation with the Foundation for the Protection of the Great Masurian Lakes endeavored to address the issues related to the presence of microplastics among youth participating in an international exchange program with Greece and Turkey, as part of the first visit of Erasmus Plus project partners to Poland. The program is implemented by the School and Kindergarten Complex named after Michał Kajka in Dąbrówka.


Photo: A group in front of the building of the Hydrobiological Station of the University of Warsaw in Pilchy, where educational activities on microplastic particles and their impact on the environment took place
Among the topics discussed were alarming headlines from media reports, a video depicting mass production of plastics that find their way into the environment through various means, and a discussion on the ways microplastics spread in soil, water, and air.


Photo: Slide illustrating the negative effects of mass plastic production and the absurd use of this material (link:

During the practical part of the workshops, water-filtering animals were exposed and observed using UV lamps to search for fluorescent polyethylene particles. A comparison was also made regarding the behavior (buoyancy) of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic typical for bottles and polyethylene, noting that the latter floated on the water’s surface. Many interesting questions arose during the sessions, such as:

Do scientists have ideas for solving the microplastics problem? Are biotechnological solutions effective? Do we know how to check if there is microplastic in our bodies, and what can we do about it?



Photo: The youth participated in the workshops with full engagement…


There was also time for reflection on the plastic world around us:

How many plastic items we encounter daily? How many plastic bags we bring home from shopping, and whether we know alternative materials for at least 3 plastic items we use daily?

The entire workshop took place in the laboratory of the Station, where equipment contained less plastic than their modern counterparts.

This leaves much to ponder, urging us to reflect on our daily lives and search for alternative solutions…


Photos: Antique balances located in the laboratory at the Hydrobiological Station of the University of Warsaw in Pilchy