Jordanhill School, Glasgow

Project: Filter the Litter

The 'Kaiaola' eco team (taken from Hawai'ian word meaning ecosystem), consisting of twelve members, took action to address the litter problem in our canals, spurred by the climate emergency. Initially, they went through a planning phase where they explored three ideas to combat litter in the water:

One idea was to create a floating device on the water to catch bottles and other litter on the surface. Another suggestion was to suspend a metal grate in the water to catch litter both above and below the water. The third idea involved adding filters to drains to trap litter from the streets before it reached the waterway. The goal was to explore all of the ways that litter enters the canals before settling on a project design.

The group collaborated to blend these original ideas and create a comprehensive solution. Their final plan is a floating boom crafted from old water bottles: a long structure that floats on the water with a net hanging down, capturing underwater litter. The intention is to place numerous booms along the canal, with the nets progressively decreasing in size to catch litter of all sizes.

Scientific poster

In the process of developing their plan, pupils completed an investigation to understand how litter enters our waterways, and what types are most prevalent. Much of this research was online, and looked at already existing solutions for pollution in rivers, gaining valuable insights to guide their actions.

The group came together, each with specific roles building on their areas of interest and skills - drawing and designing, troubleshooting and reaching out to their peers to gain a fresh perspective and share ideas.

The team's mission is clear – to prevent litter from reaching the sea through the canals. The floating booms, made from recycled water bottles, act as superheroes, intercepting all the litter. Not only is it beneficial for the Earth, but it's also a small victory in reusing materials. We aspire to create clean canals for the benefit of the animals, contributing to a healthier planet and bringing joy to our Earth!


We aspire to create clean canals for the benefit of the animals, contributing to a healthier planet and bringing joy to our Earth!


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