The Mirpuri Foundation’s mission to spread the word on the dangers of plastic pollution in our oceans, especially the poisonous nature of microplastics, has continued with a workshop for students in Nazaré, Portugal.

The sustainability workshop was titled: ‘Microplastics in the Ocean – My Role in Solving the Problem,’ and was presented to around 135 students aged between 10 and 18 years old, pupils of the Escola Básica e Secundária Amadeu Gaudêncio. The workshop, which was presented by Foundation Medical Advisor Dr. Luíza Mirpuri, and Ana Agostinho, Head of Public Relations, was a part of the Blue School Program.

Dr. Luíza began by explaining to children the dangers of microplastics to human health. Children learned how microplastics act as hormonal disruptors and lead to diseases like cancer, asthma and obesity.

Speaking after the event, she explained why the workshops are so important to the Mirpuri Foundation. “At the Foundation we try to lead by example and by education and the sharing of information and of ideas. 

“If we arm these children with the facts, they will be able to make decisions for themselves – this we think, will change behavior over generations and contribute to a better world.

“Nazaré is a very beautiful place and we’d like to keep it like that for future generations. Obviously it’s a surfing hot spot, and we’d like it still to be here, not only for these children but for their children too.

Dr. Luíza is a world authority on microplastics and the dangers they pose. It’s staggering how poorly informed people still are on this topic. 

The Mirpuri Foundation always look to establish the level of the children’s awareness of sustainability issues and so Dr Luiza explained to them the serious pollution problems now arising, not only in Portugal but across the world.There are growing levels of pollution in our oceans and each of us has a part to play in tackling this problem. That is what we try to pass on to the children. Responsibility. 

“So we are happy to say also, that in order to help the children be reminded of what they learned here today, the Foundation has also agreed to donate two posters to the school library with images focussed the dangers of microplastics.”

“Children are the decision and policy-makers of the future. It’s important that they are left in no doubt about environmental hazards that previous generations have failed to act on and to have the facts at their fingertips,” says Dr. Luíza Mirpuri.

During the workshop, children were given information on how plastics begin to break down into microplastics over the years, and they were shown how these tiny polluting particles are fed into the oceans and spread around the planet.

Dr. Luíza explained to school pupils that plastic was slowly “killing the human race”.

She told them that the world is already seeing an increase in the number of individuals suffering from cancer, allergies and infertility, and asked the children if they were willing to stand by as their generation suffered and became susceptible to new diseases arising from the little-understood effects of plastic as a contaminant.

“It’s very important for the Foundation to continue educating the children, added Ana Agostinho. “While our oceans are awash with plastic, our job at the Foundation will never be done.”