Plastic case study - tourism in Kenya

Lesson overview

Plastic does not just have an environmental and health impact, it can also affect economies and communities. For tourism locations, a pristine beach will attract more visitors than one covered in plastic waste. Local government in the UK currently spends about £15 million per year to clear litter from beaches. In this lesson, students will look at a tourism case study centred on the high end tourism on Lamu Island off the coast Kenya.

Learning outcomes
  • Assess what makes Lamu a popular tourist destination
  • Evaluate the threat caused to Kenya’s economy by plastic waste
  • Describe how actions at a range of scales are addressing plastic pollution
  • Apply mapping skills to locate places and describe processes
Lesson steps
  1. What makes Lamu popular? (15 mins)
    Students view a range of information about Lamu and assess what they think makes Lamu a popular tourist destination.
  2. Where might plastic be coming from? (15 mins)
    Lamu’s beaches are being affected by marine plastic pollution. This could have a knock-on impact on the local tourist industry. Students use their prior knowledge and a mapping activity to develop an understanding of potential sources of plastic.
  3. What action is being taken? (15 mins)
    Students watch a video about the Lamu beach clean-up, and actions of volunteers and residents’ groups to tackle the plastic build up. The plastics found on the beaches in Lamu may also give students a clearer idea about the sources of plastic debris in the region.
  4. How is Kenya changing? (10 mins)
    The build-up of plastic waste could stymie Kenya’s strategy to grow its tourism sector. Students review development data about Kenya to reflect on the potential impact of plastic waste on the Kenyan economy.
  5. How can the Kenyan government help? (5 mins)
    As a plenary, students suggest additional actions that the Kenyan government could take to address the issue of plastic pollution
Additional information: Home learning

Students create a report or presentation on the Flipiflopi project.