- What do you do at home, at school and in the environment to reduce, re-use, and recycle? Share answers.
- Have you heard of “plastic pollution?” Why do you think environmentalists are concerned about it?
- Have any of you ever heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?
- What do you think it is?
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,
- 90% of seabirds have plastic in their stomachs.
- One in three sea turtles have eaten plastic.
- Over half of all whales and dolphins have ingested plastic.
- Off the coast of British Columbia, zooplankton (some of the tiniest creatures in the food chain) are showing signs of plastic ingestion.
- Canada has generated around 3 tons of plastic waste a year, and only 10-12 per cent of that is actually recycled.
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:
- A letter to the editor of the local paper explaining plastic pollution and the importance of reducing plastic waste.
- A poster or flyer that catches the eye of consumers and reminds them to reduce plastic use.
- A community clean-up of discarded plastic containers in parks, playgrounds, and community centres followed by graphing data about what items were the most commonly found.
- A radio commercial highlighting the need to act now to stop plastic pollution. (Some local radio stations will invite you to reach the public with your message.)
- A large sign at the grocery store or food market that says something like “Oops! Did you forget your re-useable bags in your car?”
Most importantly, carry this conversation beyond the classroom. Challenge students to be ambassadors to reduce plastic pollution!