The students declared: we are worried about the Adriatic Sea!

A powerful tool in the fight of solving the problem of marine litter in the Adriatic Sea is ML-FREE project, co-financed by the European Union. With projects survey, Sunce conducted a comprehensive analysis among students of two high schools: Liceo Artistico, Classico Marco Polo e Musicale di Venezia and Economic and Administrative School Split. In the survey participated 40 Italian students and 41 Croatian students. Surveys like this one represent a valuable source of knowledge about the perception and engagement of young people in addressing the challenges of marine litter.

Are students interested in protecting nature and the environment?

I am interested in the protection of nature and the environment, say 99% of Italian and 90% of Croatian students. In addition, students expressed their environmental concerns – 84% of Italian and 68% of Croatian students are very concerned about the current and future state of the environment. At Liceo Artistico, Classico Marco Polo e Musicale di Venezia, 72% of students are aware of nature and environmental protection, considering that only 38% of their peers are in a related perspective.

Despite relatively significant concerns about the state of the environment in the School of Economics and Administration Split, only 7% of students believe that their peers are aware. In general, the collected data characterized Italian students as more concerned about the environment as well as those who have more personal but also peer awareness in the context of nature and environmental protection.

From a student’s perspective: waste separation as a key strategy for sustainability?

At Liceo Artistico, Classico Marco Polo e Musicale di Venezia, 53% of students believe that they can do enough to protect nature despite the fact that it is quite difficult to assess how much personal daily activities affect the environment. At the same time, even 80% of students at the Economic and Administrative School Split believe that someone like them cannot do enough to protect nature.

In the context of personal involvement in activities, waste separation turned out to be the activity they are most interested in. In addition, students are interested in participating in cleaning actions, educating others about environmental protection and researching environmental problems.

School vs Media

Students have choosen the media as the primary source of information. The emphasis is on the use of social networks, while television is less represented. Despite the all present multimedia, the school has maintained its importance in the life of the average student. This is confirmed by the large number of students who have chosen their school as one of the main ways of informing.


The school, as an institution of education, provides structured access to information, proper interpretation and the development of critical thinking. This combination of elements makes it an invaluable source of knowledge that surpasses current media trends. Teachers play a key role in guiding students towards reliable sources of information, thereby encouraging understanding the importance of information verification and developing media literacy.

A series of problems in the Adriatic

In general, students are most concerned about the climate crisis, the accumulation of hazardous waste, freshwater pollution and the endangerment of natural habitats. This concern makes it clear that environmental challenges know no borders and require a concerted effort by all societies. Despite different geographical and cultural contexts, students share some common concerns, while at the same time differing in their perception of certain problems.

What students in Italy are least concerned about is the impact of tourism on the sea and the coast, while Croatian students have placed overfishing and farms in the last place.

Only 67% of Italian students see marine litter and inadequate waste management as a problem, while 80% of students in Croatia consider marine litter as one of the biggest problems in the Adriatic. These differences in perspectives provide valuable insight into the diversity of challenges facing communities in the Adriatic.


We hope that the ML-FREE project will achieve its goal of strengthening capacities and connecting educational institutions and organizations in the coastal area of the Adriatic Sea with a focus on conducting education on marine litter pollution and waste prevention. We believe that the ML-FREE project will contribute to the creation of sustainable practices and encourage long-term changes in the attitude of students to the marine environment in the Adriatic.