Train-the-trainer course on Marine Litter Education | Ocean Literacy

Autumn 2023 Applications period has ended.

Train-the-trainer course for formal and non formal educators on 

Education about Marine Litter 
and the EU Directive on Single Use Plastics

1 - 7 October 2023

The aim of the course is to build the participants' skills in delivering meaningful education interventions on the issue of marine litter, especially (single-use) plastics by applying experiential, learner-centered and hands-on methods. 

The course uses several resources, staring from the educational pack “Know, feel, act! to stop Marine Litter” that exists in 15 languages, and on which more than 550 formal and non formal educators have been trained so far. 

Why should I be concerned about marine litter as a teacher?

Marine Litter is a global “hot” issue: Found in all seas and coasts around the world, in all depths, even in the most isolated, pristine places of the planet, litter especially plastic poses a threat to the environment, all sea-depended living creatures, human health and safety, as well as livelihoods. It is a complex problem, stemming from overconsumption, the prevailing mentality of "single-use" and mismanagement of wastes on land. 

This course comes at a period when we have entered the UN Ocean Decade (2021-2030), and the European Directive that banned 10 single use plastics (SUPs). However, the pandemic has lead to an increase of SUPs globally (from masks and gloves, to take-away containers for food and coffee): In these contradicting frameworks the topic of marine litter, especially plastics becomes even more relevant to educators working on sustainability & environmental issues.

What is the course about? (content & approach)

A key teaching resource we will use is the educational pack “Know, feel, act! to stop Marine Litter”. The material has been designed to primarily serve the middle school level, but can be easily adjusted for younger or older students. It can also be used outside the formal school system. You can access it in 15 languages here.

A more recent resource, available in 5 languages is STEAM-Box, a toolkit to support schools and teachers in their efforts to become plastic-free. Access it here.  

Apart from these, participants will be presented with selected good examples and a series of other educational resources and tools on the topic from Europe and beyond. We are not alone in the fight against litter: That’s why we will try to link our examples, with small and bigger networks of stakeholders and initiatives. 

The course should not be considered as dealing with marine litter, only. The topic is examined within wider agendas particularly of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), the UN Ocean Decade (2021-2030) calling for Ocean Literacy; the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Whole Institute Approach, citizen science and lifelong learning. Moreover, marine litter and plastic pollution are seen as part the wider waste management and circular economy issues. In this context, our course 'uses' the topic of marine litter and SUPs as tangible ‘vehicles’ in order to address wider more abstract challenges of sustainable development. 

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is an "umbrela" method that applies participatory pedagogies that motivate and empower learners to modify their behaviours and take action for sustainable development. ESD consequently promotes competences like critical thinking, imagining future scenarios and making decisions in a collaborative way.

What will I gain from this course? (Expected learning outcomes)

  • You will get acquainted with the marine litter issue (causes, impacts, current status, directions for solutions).
  • You will try hands-on teaching methods that you could apply with students or other audiences and contribute your own ideas.
  • You will experience how the topic of marine litter is addressed in a school and (optionally) a Centre of Environmental Education (CEE) in Greece.
  • You will exchange views and experiences with educators (both formal and non formal) from other countries.
  • You will design your own educational intervention / project on the topic.

Who can take part? (target audience)

We encourage participation of Europe based formal and non-formal educators, particularly those that live and work near the sea or other water bodies (rivers, lakes, etc.). We hope that the variety of nationalities, professions, and backgrounds will lead to a creative blend and mutual learning opportunities and reflections on how we could better sensitise our audiences on the complex issue of marine litter / plastic pollution.

The course welcomes, but is not restricted to the participation of:

  • Formal Educators: In-service school teachers of primary and secondary level of all disciplines. 
  • Non-Formal Educators: Professionals working in marine parks, aquariums, NGOs, etc. with interest on the topic of marine litter.

According to European+ programme priorities 2021-2027 priority will be given to underrepresented organisations and participants, and those with fewer opportunities. 

To ensure an effective live course, a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 25 participants is set.

Where will it take place?

The course is held in Athens, Greece, combining indoor and outdoor sessions. 

Covid-19 requirements:

  • As of January 2023, in Europe there are no restrictions on travel on the grounds of public health. 
  • In case of severe worsening of the epidemiological situation in the EU, consult this webpage for updated measures applied in the EU (and Greece). 
  • During the course, all measures (e.g. masks indoors) will be followed. Modifications in the agenda (e.g. of visits) are possible, depending on the restrictions, at the time of the event.  

What is the course language?


What is the provisional daily programme?


- Morning: Arrivals, Settling in the hotel and training venue
- Afternoon: Networking activities, Ice breakers, trainees expectations and needs



- Course introduction and scope
- The underlying principles of ESD
- The UN Ocean Decade
- The EU Directive on SUPs
- First encounter with the  pack “Know, Feel, Act! to Stop Marine Litter”
- First encounter with the  pack “STEAM-Box”



- Exploring the Pack “Know, Feel, Act! to Stop Marine Litter” through experiential workshop. 
- Exploring the Pack “STEAM-Box” through experiential workshop

- The MARLISCO Marine Litter Exhibition as a learning tool (depends on whether the exhibition is displayed in Athens during the period of the course)
- Selected Examples of ML campaigns and programmes (invited speakers)



- Visit to an NGO or a school applying a project on marine litter / plastic pollution 
- Principles and Steps in designing a Beach Litter Monitoring and Clean up
- Improvising educational games based on Marine Litter



- Visit to a beach for outdoor activities and games on marine litter
- Study Visit to Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR).
- Visit to a beach for a demonstration clean-up and monitoring activity (optional swimming)



- Preparation of trainees’ project ideas and final presentations.
- Presentation of the trainees’ work
- Social event



- Final Evaluation (qualitative and quantitative through a questionnaire)
- Certificates Ceremony
- Departures


Are there any pre- and post-course tasks?

Even though the actual face-to-face training lasts one week, the course work extends to several weeks before, as well as after the meeting:

BEFORE:  One month before the course you will be asked to describe your background and specific needs, in order for us to tailor the training content to your needs, and fit in with your personal learning pathways, skills and motivation.

DUNRING: Innovative, experiential ESD methods will be applied including co-creation through group work, peer learning, real life case-study analysis, study visits and outdoor education (on a beach). By the end of the week-long course the participants will be asked to develop a project to demonstrate how its content can be applied in their actual work setting (ideas for lesson plans, twinning projects, joint Erasmus+ projects, environmental campaigns, etc.).

AFTER: The trainees will have the opportunity to join networks that exchange information on how to effectively tackle marine litter (i.e. as members of the MEdIES network, the fb marine litter group, etc.) and thus maximize interaction and networking possibilities in the post-training phase.

Will I get a certification ?

Trainees who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate from MIO-ECSDE/ MEdIES, and the UNESCO Chair & Network on Sustainable Development Management and Education in the Mediterranean of the University of Athens.

How do I pre-register?

Interested applicants must choose dates (the course runs twice a year at spring and automn) and pre-register (click REGISTER button, top right of the webpage), with deadline one month before the training starts. The course will be confirmed only if it surpasses the minimum number of 10 participants. Applicants will be notified by emai, if their chosen course is confirmed, one month before the event, at the latest. 

What is the entire cost ?

The total cost for the week-long course (including tuition fee, travel, accommodation and subsistence), depending on your country of origin, ranges between 1500 and 2000 EURO. These costs are eligible to be 100% funded by the Erasmus+, notably under Key Action 1 (KA1 - mobility projects for staff of school education and training and adult education) (see below). 

The course tuition fee is 560 € (80 EURO per day X 7 days), and 

  • DOES include the trainers' fees, teaching material, meeting room with Wifi, coffee breaks & certificate.
  • DOES NOT include: travel, accomodation, meals, insurance, local transfers (to/from airport, study visits, etc.), museum entrances, other sundry expenses.

Registrations are considered valid only if the tuition fees have been paid to the organizer one month before the start of the course. The details for the bank transfer will be provided to the applicants by email, once the course is confirmed.

Cancelation Policy: For cancelations after payment, only 70% of the tuition fee is reimbursable. Alternatively, applicants can ‘transfer’ the fee and take part in a future session of the training.

How can I get financial support for my participation?

Applicants can not register as individuals, only through their institution. To receive funding, their shcool or organisation must submit a KA1 Erasmus+ application to the National Agency by the annual KA1 deadline . The option of joining of a Consortium of Schools is also possible. 

 What are the steps to apply for the Erasmus+ Grant?

  1. Check with your National Erasmus+ Authority if your country and organsisation is eligible to apply.
  2. Read carefully the 2023 Erasmus+ Guide, notably the sections related to KA1.
  3. Find out out if your Institution has a PIC code or an Organisation ID. This is mandatory for Erasmus+ projects.  If you don't have neither of these,  your institution should follow the guidelines to register.
  4. Find out if your Institution holds an Easmus+ 2021-2027 accreditation.   
  5. Go over a model application form: (KA121 application forms for schools and organisations that already hold an Erasmus+ 2021-2027 accreditation, OR  KA122 application forms for schools and organisations without the Erasmus+ accreditation).
  6. Write a complete and detailed proposal elaborating carefully your training needs and the expected impact. Filling the application requires  some time investment form your part, do not leave it for the last days. Let us know how we can support you in filling it. Each sending institution can apply for a number of trainees. Alternatively your institution can participate or lead a consortium of schools.  
  7. Submit the application online before the annual Erasmus+ deadline. 

DEADLINE for 2023 Erasmus+ KA1 applications: 23 February, 12:00 midday, Brussels time (for courses taking place between July and December 2023).

Read more: 

Access the Erasmus+ Guide: 

What if I am not eligible, or too late to apply for Erasmus+?

If you wish to take part but e.g. you come from a non-eligible country for Erasmus+ or missed the deadline, you are very welcome, but you should fundraise with your own means to support your participation (e.g. via your home institution, a donor, a scholarship, etc.). 

  Who are the course organisers? 


Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture & Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE).
Established in 1993 MIO-ECSDE ( is a non-profit Federation of 130 NGOs from the Mediterranean region working in the field of environment and SD.


Mediterranean Education Initiative for Environment and Sustainability (MEdIES).
Launched in Johannesburg (WSSD, 2002), MEdIES ( is MIO-ECSDE’s main education initiative, aiming to provide capacity building on ESD through trainings, educational materials and the facilitation of an e-network of educators.


UNESCO Chair & Network on Sustainable Development Management and Education in the Mediterranean at the University of Athens (UoA). Lead by Prof. Michael Scoullos, the Chair conducts training, research, information sharing and outreach activities in UNESCO major programme areas: education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication & information. It brings together and catalyzes synergies among components, organisations and bodies.

contact the organisers

MIO-ECSDE & MEdIES: 12 Kyrristou str., 10556, Athens, Greece
T +30 210 3247267 (ext 202) MEdIES Secretariat:

Who are the course trainers?


Iro Alampei has a Masters in Teaching Science and 15 years of experience as a MEdIES education officer. Iro is a co-author of the MARLISCO educational material “Know, feel, act! to stop Marine Litter” and has led a series of online ToT courses on this material, reaching a total of more than 400 trainees. 


Vicky Malotidi has a Masters in Teaching Science and 15 years of experience as a MEdIES education officer. Vicky is a co-author of the MARLISCO educational material “Know, feel, act! to stop Marine Litter” and is a certified adult trainer. She has co-organised a lot of ESD experiential workshops on various topics, including on marine litter.


Vasilis Psallidas has a Masters in Environmental Biology and 35 years of experience as a teacher and headmaster of the secondary educational level. He has been a MEdIES Senior ESD Advisor for the past five years and a trainer in several courses dedicated to the application of the educational material “Know, feel, act! to stop Marine Litter”.


Prof. Michael Scoullos holds the UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Development Management and Education in the Mediterranean, at the University of Athens.
He is a pioneer in tackling environment and sustainable development issues in the entire EuroMediterranean area. Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) has been central in his endeavors, already since the 1980s, during the UN Decade on ESD (2005-2014) the UNESCO Global Action Programme (GAP), and the adoption of the Mediterranean Strategy on ESD and its Action Plan. He has organised and chaired dozens of international conferences, authored hundreds of publications and conducted innumerable trainings in many countries worldwide.




Sunday, October 1, 2023 9:00 AM
Saturday, October 7, 2023


MIO-ECSDE premises
Kirristou 12
105 56 Athina

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