A selection of articles and photos submitted by students from various schools taking part in the Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) programme.

Was your product fairly made?

On a daily basis, we buy and use various products. But have you ever thought where, by whom, and under what conditions they were produced? Have you ever wondered if your choice is fair with those who produced that product? And how your choice affected the environment?

Fair Trade is an alternative option for more just and sustainable commerce where people and planet come before profit as explained in the 10 Principles of the World Fair Trade Organisation. These principles go hand in hand with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

Marie Therese Pavia and Aidan Gauci, students at G.F. Abela Junior College, produced a video to raise awareness and knowledge about Fair Trade as part of their participation in the YRE campaign.

To view the video, visit https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=ifC0_3LZmnE&t=5s.

To read other students’ entries, visit www.yremalta.org.

When the sun goes down, the dump waste comes up

The high ground area at the shoreward end of Delimara Point above il-Ħofra ż-Żgħira in Marsaxlokk has turned into a waste dumping zone. The area is also the site of a belvedere of Delimara Port and is famous for the polygonal British Fort of Tas-Silġ, built between 1879 and 1883.

Being quite remote, the site is ending up being used to dump heavy waste, including plastic paint containers, paper, broken glass, metal and even remains of construction material.

On contacting Marsaxlokk local council we were told that the heavy waste dumped in this area is frequently reported, and clean-up actions are continuously taken.

Meanwhile, people keep on dumping heavy waste, especially at sunset when there is no one around to report this illegality. Then when the wind blows heavily most of this dumped waste ends up in the sea port, contaminating both water and underwater fish and vegetation. Security cameras are needed to monitor the area.

Leon Buttigieg, St Margaret College Senior Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua.

Plastic heart

The photo shows a heart-shaped littered plastic bottle embedded in the clay slopes on a hillside in Għajn Tuffieħa.  It is a symbol of one of the major threats to our planet. The main concern is the accumulation of plastic in the environment and the time it takes to degrade. Once it is broken down, the smaller pieces, called microplastics, enter the diet of living organisms such as birds and fish, and eventually, our own food. As a solution, we must reduce the amount of plastic we use. An example of this is the banning of single-use plastic. Plastic waste generated must be disposed of responsibly ideally for recycling rather than landfilling.

Michael Stilon is a student at G.F Abela Junior College.

Assorted plastic nurdles

Nurdles are small plastic pellets that are used to make nearly all our plastic products. Various bits and pieces of plastic eventually find their way in the sea and many end up washing up on our shores. Marine life is severely threatened by these small pieces of plastic. The creatures that make up the base of the marine food chain, such as krill, are prematurely dying by choking on nurdles. Plastics also contain toxic chemicals which end up in our bodies through the food chain, causing various health problems such as cancer.

Amy Carole and Nicole Spiteri Staines, are Form 1 and 3 students respectively at St Monica School, Gżira.

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