Students will investigate the use of plastics in society and the potential impact that this material has on the marine environment.
Background information about marine debris and a vocabulary list can be found in the Fact Sheet: Marine Debris.
Showing the effects of marine debris on animals may be distressing for some students. Familiarise yourself with the associated Presentation for this lesson and make a judgement as to whether you think it is appropriate for your students.
- Brainstorm waste products, particularly plastic, created in everyday life. Use student’s lunchbox items as an example.
- Blackboard the responses and have students make notes or their own brainstorms.
- Ask students to discuss the problems with waste and describe how they feel when they see rubbish or litter at school, in the community and in the natural environment.
- Discuss the term biodegradable.
- Inform students that a report by Cleanup Australia in 2011 named Western Australia’s beaches the most polluted in Australia – http://www.news.com.au/travel/australia/western-australias-beaches-most-polluted-in-australia/story-e6frfq89-1226006342654. Ask students how this makes them feel. Do they think the results are the same today?
- View the Presentation: Harmful Marine Debris, observing sources of marine debris and its direct effects on marine life.
- Discuss the content of the pictures and direct impacts on marine life.