Stjepan, or “Teppo”, as his friends in Finland call him, says he doesn´t like motivational stories. Anyway, I have a strong feeling that here are great ingredients for a good story.
Stjepan is a marine biologist and a Senior Research Coordinator, who was born in Croatia. He spent his childhood on an island, where he witnessed the problems of marine litter. “Plastic ended up to our beautiful island, as it does in many other places in the world too. We weren´t particularly surprised of it, but of course it bothered me and partly led me to study the problems of microplastics. This way plastic became as a job for me.”
This same reason, plastic, brought him to Finland. Here he had a choice to work with microplastics. ”I like everything related to the seas, except jet skis”, Stjepan tells. “Diving, sailing and swimming is enjoyable, but jet skis that disturb nature and birds and too often hurt and kill divers, don´t belong to the water systems.”
Stjepan thinks that taking care of our environmental impact should be a standard, not an exception. It annoys him when people ask, why he has chosen a profession like this. “ As a counter-question I would ask, what inspires you not to care about our nature? Not everybody has to be a marine biologist of course, but everybody has to care, do something!” Stjepan says there is always a possibility to improve. I suppose many of us can agree with him. “In a long run it is much more profitable to keep our environmental impact on the sustainable levels”, Stjepan reminds. “We need to make sustainability as a building block of our society, not just a nice façade.”
To the team of Clewat he came, because the approach to the wellbeing of the seas is more direct and actions are quicker compared to the research work. Stjepan wanted to be part of a good team. “ We are working on a new field. Many have benefited from harming and exploiting the environment, but we do the opposite, we are sailing against the wind. It is hard work, but exciting. We are doing the right things and I hope that we will succeed – both on environmental and business view”.
So that every island could keep its clean beaches.