Why We NEED to Educate Children About Ocean Plastics

We’ve just read about Pollutoys, which have been produced by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. These children’s toys might look cute and fluffy on the outside, but their insides are jam-packed with indigestible plastic such as bottles, bags, cutlery, cups and other harmful plastics that pollute our oceans and harm these magnificent creatures.

But why? Sea Shepherd Conservation has realised that we need to be educating children at grassroots level about the harm that pollution can do to our marine life. Using Pollutoys is a tangible way of getting children to understand the damage that is caused, because they can see it and touch it for themselves. Studies have shown that our minds learn best when using 3D objects to understand a concept, these toys are a great way of making a difficult subject easy for young children to digest.

The environmental problems with our oceans stem from years of neglect and almost a sense of denial about what eventually happens to the rubbish that fills our landfills and waterways. It is now believed there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in our ocean, there isn’t a week goes by where we aren’t witnessing the physical damage this plastic is doing to our marine life; who are either found caught in debris, or washed up with a belly full.

A whole generation has been responsible for creating an enormous environmental issue, and unfortunately it’s going to fall to the next generation to be less foolhardy and try to undo some of the damage. That’s not to say the current generation should absolve all responsibility, however we need to continue to educate and raise awareness of the harm plastics cause and how we can stop creating so much destruction to some of the most fragile parts of our planet – our oceans.

There’s a list of simple changes we can make to our every day lives over on our Earth Day blog post.