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Teach your child about plastic pollution

June 1st, 2020
Teach your child about plastic pollution
The UN has recently been encouraging families across the world to raise their children’s awareness of plastic pollution. Global plastic production is a huge problem – 50 billion plastic bottles alone are disposed of every year. Eight million tons of plastic gets into our oceans every year and is a serious health risk to both humans and the environment and this is an issue that must be tackled and tackled today by everyone. It is important that children get involved in trying to reduce the use of plastic and they learn the importance of the elimination of plastic and the importance of finding good options to using plastic.

Now is the time for a change in your lifestyle and for your family to stop using single waste plastic as this will reduce the amount of rubbish you as a family discard by at least 40% EVERY week. Imagine the positive impact on landfill sites if everyone was to do the same – especially as plastic takes many years to degrade.

Why not make a pledge to cut down on plastic pollution today? This is a family project that your children would love to get involved with and by doing this you will be teaching them how to avoid using plastic to protect the future of our beautiful world.
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1. Talk with your children about plastic pollution.

If you are out on a walk, get them to spot any discarded single use water bottles and plastic packaging. Describe to them the huge problem caused by plastic rubbish in our oceans and how it can injure marine animals like turtles and dolphins.

2. Take a look in your wheelie bin!

Have a look at the type of plastic rubbish that you are throwing away and spot which are the top three types. Discuss this with your children and plan together how this can be changed. If you have lots of shampoo and shower gel bottles, swap to buying a large bottle of conditioner that you can decant into your usual bottle and buy each person a bar of soap to use instead of shower gel as it lasts much longer and there is no plastic waste.

If food packaging is top of your list of discarded rubbish, buy fruit and vegetables in markets and shops where they are sold loose and you can pop them straight in your cloth shopping bags. Don’t buy any ready meals and involve your children in menu planning – using only fresh produce. Children love growing plants so why not get some tomato and lettuce plants for them to grow and explain how much better this is for the planet.

If you have lots of yogurt cartons and cheese wrappers, you can try making your own yogurt in large glass jars and you can buy cheese in a block without any packaging. If there are loads of plastic bags used for school sandwiches, why not invest in a washable lunch box for each child as these will last years. Bin the idea of plastic drink bottles and straws too and opt for a small stainless drinking flask for each child.

3. Keep an eye out for clearing campaigns.

Many charities encourage the general public to get involved with forest and beach clearing programmes and these are well advertised, so if you can, try and get involved in one.
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4. Teach your children about re-using and recycling items.

It can be lots of fun to find a new use for a piece of rubbish that you were going to throw away. If they have a sand pit, you can cut small plastic bottles to make scoops of different sizes and old yogurt pots are perfect for making sand castles. Discuss the value of using old items as opposed to buying new.

5. Think plastic free all year through!

This can be quite a challenge, especially for birthday and Christmas celebrations. If you have a birthday party on the horizon, think about alternatives to use instead of plastic tableware and plastic bags for take home gifts. Do away with party balloons and have colourful paper streamers instead and for take home gifts, make something special like home made cookies and present them in decorated recycled paper bags. Plan to make your own crackers this Christmas but not containing small plastic toys, choose small quality gifts that will be useful.

Chrissie x

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