Active Northumberland has been working with local schools to teach young children about plastic pollution in the oceans - in a very innovative way.
Children attending swimming lessons at Blyth Sports Centre have been taught about the effects of plastic pollution on the animals in the ocean when they filled their local pool with clean discarded plastic bottles and swam through their own pool of plastic ‘waste’.
As well lots of excellent swimming, the lessons have been a powerful way of sending a very important message to encourage children to use less plastic, be responsible with their rubbish and to look after their local waterways. After every lesson the pupils finish with an all-important clean up and recycling operation.
Pupils from Cambois Primary School were the latest to have an environmental lesson in the pool. Their headteacher Mrs Allan explained how enthusiastically the children have taken to the message.
“It wasn’t your average school swimming lesson, but the pupils learnt a very clear message about the impact of plastics on the environment
“We’ve been talking to the children since and they were saying ‘this is plastic, and this is plastic’ - they are becoming much more aware.”
Active Northumberland swimming co-ordinator Kaye Weatheritt said : “ This was a swimming lesson they’ll never forget and a great way to give young children an understanding on pollution. We talked about how it is difficult to swim in a sea of plastic and how marine animals often confuse plastic waste for food which can make them sick or cause them to die.
“I think the young people have a particularly persuasive power and when the message to use less plastic comes from children it is far more powerful. ”
Laura, aged 8 who is now a firm believer in using less plastic, said: “Before we put all the plastic in the water, swimming through the water was nice and easy. But it was very hard to swim through all the plastic. I think we should all team up together and try and get as much plastic out of the ocean as possible.”
Demi also aged 8 is another new recycling fan. She said: “I don’t want to use as much plastic now, because it could end up killing animals.”