A whale of a time.
Updated: Nov 3, 2019
A whopping million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute of every day. And that is just bottles – think of all the packaging, most of which is single use. With more than 8 million tonnes of plastic being dumped into our oceans every year, our plastic problem has reached crisis point globally.
Whilst many think it may be too late to solve our plastic problem, one thing we can do is to educate the next generation about the impact of plastic on our planet and teach them how small changes in their lives can make a huge impact globally.
With this in mind, and with Sky Ocean Rescue’s backing, we took our lovely Plasticus on a voyage to Boxgrove School in Guildford, Surrey where 630 4-11 year olds waited eagerly for our arrival.
The week before the visit we worked with teachers across all years to brief the children on the role that Plasticus plays in the #PassOnPlastic campaign. They watched the Sky Ocean Rescue educational videos and designed posters with their top tips to #PassOnPlastic. If only some of their ideas were possible; edible bottles; the Queen banning all plastic globally; telling off people who buy bottled water - their list went on. What became very apparent was the passion all these children had in helping save the planet. The older classes most definitely felt a sense of responsibility to help change our pattern of plastic use.
Plasticus arrived at the school at 8am sharp and by 8.30 we were surrounded by hundreds of pupils, friends and family. The turnout was incredible, as was the overwhelming shock at the sheer size of our whale. After the initial excitement had died down, and the press had been and gone, we took to the stage at school assembly to show the children some of the work we had done with Sky Ocean Rescue. Each of the classes then had the opportunity to come and talk to us and ask questions. Lots of the children asked about the structure itself; how we built it; where we got the plastic bottles from; how we transported it. The conversation then quickly turned to the use of plastic in their lives – toys, drinks, food, but also the impact it could have on their health and the health of animals. One Year 2 boy asked how much plastic he had in his tummy, having watched the BBC ‘Drowning in Plastic’ documentary with his mum and dad. Their interest in the subject was overwhelming!
The day ended with a Realise Live Challenge for all the children (and staff) – who could spot the two Barbie Doll heads hidden in Plasticus. Let it be said the children found this challenge a lot easier than the adults. And just like that Plasticus swam out to his next location.
Our work with Sky Ocean Rescue has completely changed our company’s use of plastic. It has changed how we buy, how we build and how we recycle plastic. Inevitably, plastic plays a part in our business, but where possible we look for alternatives and have managed to drastically reduce our use over the last year. Education is key in the war on plastic and the next generation have a fundamental role to play in tackling this crisis.
Our trip to Boxgrove School has to be one of our most worthwhile and fulfilling work days to date. Now on to planning our next school trip.