PLASTIC: WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY?
Topic : 2019/2020
Ensuring the sustainable utilisation of resources is a key step that individuals can take to reduce our collective impact on the environment, including the use of and disposal of plastic.
Plastics in the environment impact wildlife, environmental and human health, with a legacy that will last for generations. However, who is responsible for their ubiquitous use and poor disposal? If we are to change the world, who needs to lead the charge?
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We teamed up with science and wildlife presenter Liz Bonnin to create a special video to introduce this important topic.
Watch our 2020 panel discussion where we heard from subject experts about how we can individually and collectively address the plastic crisis. Hosted by Will Travers OBE, Born Free’s Executive President & Co-Founder, panel members included Baroness Natalie Bennett, Sian Sutherland, Andrew Thornton and Chris Coode.
For a summary of learning objectives and UK curriculum links, please click below.
Plastic isn’t, in itself, the problem. It’s how we use it and how we dispose of it. We are already unable to cope with the amount of plastic waste we generate, with severe environmental consequences.
Only with individual and collective action can we hope to turn the tide.
How can YOU take responsibility on the issue of plastic pollution?
Undertake your own plastic audit
- Keep a diary of all the plastics you use in a day – from the minute you wake up, to when you go to bed
- Go back through your diary to find times when you used plastic unnecessarily and find alternatives
- There are many websites available that can help you make these switches from plastic to more sustainable products.
Reuse plastic bottles
Approximately 13 billion plastic bottles are used each year in the UK. Only 7.5 billion of these are recycled.
How can you reuse plastic bottles, once they are too old to drink out of, to improve your school’s local environment?
- Hanging planters
- Bird feeders
- Create a terrarium.
Promote a plastic-free packed lunch
Challenge your classmates to go plastic-free with their packed lunches. No Clingfilm, straws, crisp packets etc.
And if you want an even greater challenge, ask your parents to try and make your packed lunch out of ingredients that did not come in plastic packaging.
Raise awareness in the community.
300 pupils at Chalkwell Hall Junior School helped their local council raise awareness about the issue of plastic pollution.
Their brilliant artwork was displayed in a public space for everyone to see!
OR START YOUR OWN ENVIRONMENTAL CAMPAIGN!
Sisters Melati and Isabel Wijsen are on a mission to ban plastic bags in Bali, and set up their own NGO – Bye Bye Plastic Bags.
Watch their TED talk by clicking on the link below.
BYE BYE PLASTIC BAGS
Bye Bye Plastic Bags (BBPB) is driven by youth to say NO to plastic bags.
Founders, Melati and Isabel, say: “We are so proud that our story is being shared in classrooms around the world and if we were able to inspire you with our story even better!
“The one piece of advice we can give you: Find out what you are passionate about, whether this is banning plastic bags, helping the disadvantaged in your community or saving an endangered species by raising awareness. BBPB is proof that you are never too young – or too old – to be the change you want to see in this world.
“Go out there and don’t let anyone ever tell you that kids can’t do things. As we mentioned in our TED talk – we might just be 25% of the population, but we are 100% of the future.”