Just Say No to Single Use Plastics
Our vision for Canada is to be a country that refuses to allow plastic pollution to be our new normal. Students researched single use plastics and the devastating effects our actions have caused on the environment. As a result of their learning, students were compelled to take action and educate their peers and community members on this important issue.
In an effort to share their learning and create positive change, students decided to work together to plan and implement different ways to teach their peers, families and communities about the plastic problem. First, they took on a research project to discover what items were the biggest contributors to plastic pollution and how long it would take for them to biodegrade. They also learned about the amount of plastic entering our waterways and landfills on a yearly basis, causing them to understand the magnitude of the problem! Once they had their background knowledge, students decided to host a Litterless Lunch Week at our school to encourage a decrease in the use of single use plastics. The winning class received prize packs made up of a stainless steel straw, a reusable snack bag and a healthy snack for each student. Our youth also conducted personal plastic use audits in their own homes. Using the data they collected, they decided to create reusable food wrap for all families in our school as an alternative to using plastic wrap. As students became more engaged with the issue, they began noticing how many plastic shopping bags their families used and started working on making reusable shopping bags! To help spread their message beyond the school, newspaper articles were also written and submitted for publication to our local newspaper. Our students went above and beyond with this project and plan to continue their work by making more reusable food wrap for community members and encouraging everyone to reduce their plastic consumption.
Reflection & Celebration
The biggest challenge we faced was having enough time for students to complete their projects! They had a lot of wonderful ideas and in order to complete them, we decided to work through noon hours and log a few more hours after school. The Litterless Lunch Week was a huge hit with their peers and made them reevaluate what was in their lunch boxes. To celebrate our success, we watched the movie Earth and shared a healthy (litterless) snack. We plan to continue this project by starting a letter writing campaign to ask companies to reconsider all the plastic packaging they use and continuing to educate the public on the issue and steps they can take to make a difference.