World Environment Day began in 1974 and is now widely celebrated in over 100 countries across the world. Each year, a different country hosts the events and gets to select a theme. In 2017, Canada hosted World Environment Day and selected the theme “Connecting people to nature.” This year, India is hosting the day and the theme they have selected is #Beat Plastic Pollution. “If you can’t re-use, it, refuse it.”
Plastic pollution is growing and has a huge negative effect on the environment.
Here are some facts on plastic pollution:
Education Event Kit: Beat Plastic Pollution
Explain that our world is full of plastic. Have the children look around the classroom and identify everything that is made of plastic. Tell them that plastic was made to last forever — and it does! Ask students how that can be a good thing and a bad thing.
Plan a “Pick Up Plastic Day.”’ Invite parent volunteers and provide students with gloves and containers (non-plastic if possible) to collect any plastic waste from the schoolyard. If possible, extend the collection to the school neighbourhood, nearby park, or nature trail.
Once all of the items have been collected, make a giant mural by gluing all of the plastic waste to a large piece of mural paper. Label the display “Plastic Pollution” and post it in the lobby of the school.
Close by reminding students that it is important for them to continue to help the environment by reducing the amount of plastic they use. Here are some tips they can use at home, at school and in their community:
For more ideas on how to reduce plastic pollution visit here.
Explain that plastic is an amazing substance because it can last forever. It is also a pollutant because it can last forever!
Tell the children that the plastic bags we use daily can take up to 1,000 years to break down or decompose in our landfills and garbage dumps. And the plastic bottles we use can take up to 450 years or more to decompose!
Watch this TED-Ed video “What really happens to the plastic you throw away”:
In small groups ask students to brainstorm all the things that they can do at home, at school, and in their community to reduce plastic pollution.
Watch the following video about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch here.
Here are some facts to share with your students:
According to a study done by Greenpeace Canada,
In order to stop destroying our environment with plastics, we need to be part of the solution, not the problem.
Invite students to work alone, in pairs, or in small groups to come up with a slogan and campaign that will remind everyone of the importance of reducing plastic use. They may select a target group, such as the school, industry or local government.
The campaign can be anything they choose. Here are some ideas:
Most importantly, carry this conversation beyond the classroom. Challenge students to be ambassadors to reduce plastic pollution!