Microplastics Beat Plankton!


“River quality monitoring activities carried out by students are in line with the spirit of Freedom Learning program (Merdeka Belajar) programmed by the government, children gain direct experience through observing microplastics and plankton in rivers,” said Mustofa, a science teacher at SMK Islam (Islamic Vocational School) Tanwirul Afkar, Tempel Village, Krian District, Sidoarjo City

The river detective program on Thursday Morning (12/11) conducted water quality monitoring activities with 10 students of Islamic Middle School and Islamic Vocational School Tanwirul Afkar, Tempel Village, Krian District, Sidoarjo Regency.

The river detective of SMP Islam and Islamic Vocational School Tanwirul Afkar found that the number of microplastics was more than the amount of plankton. “We found 41 microplastic particles of Fiber 18 pieces, Fragment 22 pieces and Filament 1 piece, while the plankton we found were only 9 individuals,” said Alam Raihan, a 10th grade student of Islamic Vocational School Tanwirul Afkar. “The findings of the river detective today are repeating the previous conclusion that the number of microplastics is more than plankton, this condition indicates that the river has been contaminated by plastic waste,” said Eka Chlara Budiarti, a school assistant for Telik Sandi, organized by ECOTON, supported by PLN Peduli East Java.



The types of plankton found in Surabaya River by River Detective from Islamic Vocational School Tanwirul Afkar are Tabellaria, Euglena, Lecane, Spirogyra, Oscillatoria, Limnocalanus, and Arcella. When compared to microplastics, the number of plankton is very small because only 9 individuals were found. “This condition can be a warning to the public, government and industry that depend on Surabaya River water, there has been eviction of plankton by microplastics,” said Eka Chlara Budiarti.

Microplastics are sourced from liquid waste from the paper industry, which recycles paper waste into paper raw materials, domestic liquid waste from thousands of homes that dispose of liquid waste into the water of the Surabaya River and other sources come from the generation of plastic waste which is found on the banks of Kali Surabaya.

Kali Surabaya is a subsidiary of Kali Brantas that contributes plastic waste to the ocean, Brantas River is one of 10 rivers that contribute plastic waste to the ocean.

Microplastic observations with a microscope with a magnification of 100-1000 times carried out in the Inspiration School Telik Sandi laboratory will result in the birth of active and critical river detectives to save rivers from pollution.

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