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For teachers

You can make a big impact in your classroom by engaging in plastic free crafts and activities, discussing waste with your students, and more.

What you can do

Bring Plastic Free July into your classroom.

How you can do it

There are many opportunities to go plastic free within the classroom. Crafts and classroom activities are a great place to start – for example, it’s easy to avoid plastic straws when building models by using bamboo sticks instead.

You can also get your students involved in the discussion. Conducting a bin audit, will help your class to understand the waste being created and to discover better alternatives/recycling practices.  

It can be incredibly effective to hold a brainstorming session with your students on how you can reduce waste. Some great ideas can be found in our Getting Started and Next steps cards.

To further engage your students, reach out to local groups in your area tackling the issue of plastic pollution and invite them to share their story. This could be environment groups, waste management companies, and local government bodies.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, model the behaviours you’d like to see in your students. By bringing your own reusable water bottle, coffee cup and containers, for example, you’ll show a practical example of how living without plastic waste can look.

Taking the next steps

Running DIY workshops can be a fun and informative way to take plastic free living in your classroom even further. Some fun examples of things you can teach your students to make include:

  • Soap – this can be a great one for the science class (depending on the age of students), as you explain the chemical process of saponification. You can even let the students take their soap home with them.
  • Beeswax wraps.
  • Toothpaste.
  • Deodorant.

One school told us about a maths class in which students counted the number of single-use wraps and packaging in their lunchboxes. They then showed students practical ways to reduce plastic waste and then re-counted a few months later. They saw a 26% reduction in single-use plastic wraps used across the school!

With a quick online search for plastic free classroom activities, you’ll see there are lots of resources out there.

The Impact

  • Incorporating skills-development into your classroom activities can empower students to reduce plastics in their own lives.
  • Many students take the message home to their families and try the Plastic Free July challenge together.
  • Modelling behaviours (like bringing your own bottle) is a great way to quietly reinforce simple solutions for living plastic free.

More ideas

What others do

Glass of lemonade, bunch of straws and a plastic juice bottle

To find plastic free ideas, take the Plastic Free July challenge

Reusable carry bag, keep cups and bamboo cutlery
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