Kindly Pick Those Cartridges Skratac to Put a Stop to the Poisoningof the Soils and Water

Kindly Pick Those Cartridges Skratac to Put a Stop to the Poisoningof the Soils and Water

Kindly pick those cartridges ‘skratac’… to put a stop to the poisoning of the soils and water aquifer at the Park tal-Majjistral!

WE aim to make the hunters conscious of what they are doing, probably unintentionally. We want them to know that if they leave behind their cartridges ‘skratac’ they are contaminating the soils and water aquifer with lead and plastic and we don’t want to let this happen any longer!

We came to this conclusion during the fieldwork exercise that our Geography teachers organised for us at the Park tal-Majjistral to investigate the Mediterranean biome by comparing the vegetation of the garrigue and the disturbed areas of the steppe vegetation. Ms Analise Falzon of Nature Trust was our guide. As a group we decided to make a positive impact at this site where nature has to be the most important thing. We did not want to just visit the site but to make a positive change. We brought with us some bags that are biodegradable that do not harm the environment. In these biodegradable bags we put in the litter that we saw in this area. After some time we realised that we were mostly finding cartridges ’skratac’ left by the hunters.

Hunting at the park is legal. I think that few people know that all the lead and plastic from these cartridges is causing harm to the soil and to the water aquifer. We students managed to fill nine bags, of medium size, with litter consisting mostly of these different coloured cartridges. We would like to use these cartridges to urge more responsible behaviour from all those who visit this park - even the hunters. Responsible hunters can, before they leave, pick up the cartridges that they have shot and maybe others left by the irresponsible hunters.

Another suggestion is that more school children think of ways by which they can do a positive impact when they go out on school outings. If students carry out such positive actions, when out on fieldwork, imagine the example that we students would be giving to all the people living in Malta. The environment will be improved if everyone then follows our example.

We have used the cartridges to create a mosaic of a large bird of prey. We intend to set up a display on parents’ day at our school to encourage hunters to pick up their cartridges so that they do not poison the soil and water with lead and plastic. We even sent the photos to Analise Falzon so that she can pass on our suggestions to the board of the park so that the persons who visit the park will act more responsibly. We also shared our ideas with students of the schools participating in Global Education Week 2011. This initiative is organised in collaboration with the North South Centre of the Council of Europe and the Follow Up of GEW11 was organised at the National Curriculum Centre last January.

We hope that our suggestion to pick the cartridges is taken up by all the hunters, not only those who frequent the Park tal-Majjistral, so that the soils and water aquifers in Malta will become more sustainable.

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