Senglea Primary Eco School committee was recently involved in a clean-up event at the beach of Rinella Bay organised with help from a team from Divewise.

The younger pupils, together with accompanying adults, clean­ed the sand by sifting it, removing any debris found.

The older children proceeded to another part of the beach to watch the divers dive and bring on shore what they found.

Using appropriate pickers they also cleaned the whereabouts and picked up floating items that could be reached from ashore. Any waste found was disposed of in the appropriate bags provided.

Our hearts just wanted to cry when we saw all the rubbish that was being collected! We found plastic bottles, glass bottles, a lot of cigarette butts, wires, nets and foam. To our amazement, the divers brought to shore lots of strange things. We couldn’t believe our eyes.

We couldn’t believe our eyes

We  felt really annoyed and angry because we realised that unfortunately there are still so many people who do not care about littering, creatures, reducing or disposing of waste properly, about the fact that the ocean is getting more and more polluted and that we are all suffering because of this.

During the scholastic year the Eco School Committee members received a lot of information about education for sustainable development and suggested many activities to educate and involve the whole school community. The head of school, Ms Napier, immediately took action on these suggestions and several activities were carried out during special assemblies, Celebration Day and other parents’ activities.

At the beginning of the year, our Eco School link teachers together with our assistant head were involved in an Erasmusplus pro­ject in Athens – Act Now On Marine Litter. Our educators gave us a lot of information about this topic. We really liked the idea that they were involved in a beach clean-up themselves and that they also had divers to help them and we asked our teachers if we could organise a similar activity ourselves.

Everyone needs to be aware that winds blow everything into the sea around us, and lots of rubbish ends up on our beaches and accumulates in the oceans. This is very worrying.

Some creatures have been found with straws stuck in their nose or with their head stuck in plastic bottle rings. Birds even feed plastic to their chicks!

When these creatures eat trash they end up dying of hun­ger because it is not diges­ted and remains in their stomach. Thinking they are full, they do not eat and so end up dying out of hunger. We want to put an end to this.

How can we keep our beaches and our oceans clean?

• Along with the beach towels and umbrellas, take along something to keep your trash in.

• We have to be prepared to find trash already on the beach. Sometimes people forget their trash or it may have been blown by the wind. If you find someone else’s trash on the beach, be kind and pick it up using gloves.

• Don’t throw cigarette filters on the sand or worse in the sea but use a container with some sand in it.

Remember, we are protectors of the environment and the life it sustains. Keeping our earth as well as the oceans clean is a great way to have a clean earth and a healthy lifestyle. The easiest way to do this is to simply pick it up and dispose of it properly.

Araleah Sianne Fraser Mallia and Rhea Debono Stivala are Year 6 pupils and Thais Cassar is a Year 3 pupil at Senglea Primary school.