With environmental awareness at an all-time high, Żibel official is at the forefront of change. From cleaning up on the frontline to a vital role in educating, the NGO has blossomed from a few friends cleaning up beaches to the foremost voluntary organisation campaigning for environmental consciousness.
Gadgets contacted Żibel’s Policy Officer Eleanor Borg Xuereb for her comments on Żibel’s growth, as well as their use of tech in clean-ups.
“The founders of Żibel noticed the sorry state of the environment around us, the countryside, the sea – they just felt that something serious needed to be done,” she explains. “We started with simple clean-ups among friends, but now we’ve branched out into education, waste management at events and the use of sea-bins.”
Sea-bins are a new technology used in waste collection, a vacuum which floats on the surface on the water and catches floating debris. “They’re great little gadgets which allow us to clean the sea and collect data simultaneously,” she says, describing the way it works. “They don’t need much supervision so we can let them do their work while we get on with the clean-up. We use a lot of manpower and use of tech allows us to multiply that strength. Our clean-up trailer, boats and drones are all implements we use to streamline our process.”
Eleanor is speaking about the boat used by Żibel, generously provided for by the Alf Mizzi Foundation, which they recently used to collect rubbish off the coast of Comino and just off Rinella. “In addition to the boat, the clean-up trailer was a massive game-changer for us. Designed by our resident tech genius Andrew Schembri, it now takes us a fraction of the time to arrive, set-up, collect and pack up. It has loads of nifty little features like a shower, coat and backpack hangers, and even a power wash,” she says.
In their last clean-up on the 27th of June, Żibel collected a staggering 3.09 tonnes of waste, with the help of over one hundred divers, snorkelers and coastal volunteers. “Our goals could never be accomplished without the help of volunteers, who generously offer their own time and energy for a good cause,” she explains, appreciative of their input.
While clean-ups remain a regular part of their work, Żibel is looking to the future optimistically. “We have some really cool projects in the pipeline. Our upcoming projects are targeted and specific, and we can’t wait to share them with the public. In the meantime, we will continue to hold clean ups and educate the public.”
Gadgets fully supports this organisation. Let’s get the environment cleaned up!