The Key Stage 2 children from the Fylingdales and Hawsker federation gathered together to investigate just how much plastic they use. This initiative is part of our schools’ autumn term topic, named ‘No Planet B!’ in which the children have been looking at plastic waste, the damage it is causing to the environment and how they can make a conscious effort to lower their own environmental footprint.
Both schools gathered in the All Saints Church in Hawsker, each child bringing with them one week’s worth of plastic, recyclable or not. Working in groups, the children were shocked and amazed at just how much they had accumulated. Some of the words the children used to describe the mountainous collection were, ‘guilty’, ‘overwhelmed’ and ‘helpless’.
The children then began to weigh the bags and applied their mathematical knowledge to find the average weight that each family might amass in one week. They were stunned when they multiplied this number to discover what amount might be used in two weeks, a month and even one year! Then, using tally and bar charts the children were able to identify that the most commonly used plastic is milk bottles.
During the investigation, a lot of the children were surprised to learn that quite a substantial amount of plastic gathered was not, in fact, recyclable. This posed the question: what happens to this plastic waste and where does it go? The children then researched and began to make their own ‘eco-bricks’, a building block made entirely from unrecyclable plastic inside a plastic bottle, and discovered how some of these are actually being used to build furniture, walls and other structures around the world.
In lessons, the children have already begun to explore how plastic litter can have a detrimental effect in many ways, especially when it finds its way in to the sea and damages the marine wild-life. Living on the coast, this is a problem that the children feel is close to home and they have vowed to continue with their eco-warrior work and think of ways that they can look after and save the environment- starting with tackling plastic problems!