Our topic this term is looking at our Plastic Planet and the effect it has on our ecosystems, wildlife and climate. We had a very interesting first day looking at all of the things that are happening to our planet, and the changes we can make in our lives to help! We all made a list of things we can do to help in our everyday routines…
We also looked at the 3Rs (Recycle, Reuse, Reduce) and how important each of these are.
Looking more into recycling, we identified that some people are unsure on what the ‘recycle’ symbol is on packaging. We also discussed that not all packaging has a symbol on, however this does not mean that we cannot recycle it. Referring to the symbols on the Recycle Now website (https://www.recyclenow.com/recycling-knowledge/packaging-symbols-explained), we had a go at sorting our rubbing into a recyclable and non-recyclable pile.
After sorting, we looked at our non-recyclable pile and wondered where it goes. We found out that general waste, including incorrectly sorted recyclable materials, mainly goes to landfill and some items can take hundreds of years to break down. Alternatively, some rubbish not correctly disposed of can end up in the ocean, damaging the wildlife and putting animals lives at risk as they consume the materials thinking that it is food. This made us very sad. Luckily, we found out that plastics that are recycled can be turned into many things like clothes, pens and other plastic items like bottles. This means that we hopefully will get to a stage where we won’t need to make anymore polluting plastic!
One material that we looked at was plastic and how damaging it is short term and long term. Did you know that plastic never breaks down until it is gone? Instead, it breaks into smaller and smaller pieces called microplastics which are consumed by animals, then consumed by us. That means that we could have plastic in our stomachs right now, which is not good for our digestive systems!
We then looked at another ‘R’ – reducing. We said about decreasing our packaging wastage by buying items that are not wrapped in non-recyclable plastic. This is a small change, but an impactful one!
Finally, we explored the final ‘R’ – reuse. We said that instead of items being thrown away, they could be reused to make something really cool! Therefore, we decided to make impactful pieces of artwork, reusing items found in our rubbish bins. Our work is really powerful because these are the items that you can find in the ocean, sadly effecting our wildlife. Please see some brilliant, creative examples below:
What can you do to help our planet?