What impact can plastic have? Part two

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Lesson overview

This lesson sees students investigate how plastics get into the oceans and affect marine life. Students discover how plastic pollution doesn’t start when plastic enters the ocean. They go on to consider economic, political and social elements of human geography that impact ocean plastic pollution. Students examine case studies relating to plastic pollution at home and abroad to consider the social and economic impacts.

Learning outcomes
  • Understand how plastics get into the ocean ecosystem
  • Describe three ways in which ocean plastic pollution can occur
  • Discover some of the ethical and social issues related to ocean plastic pollution
  • Discuss and describe how plastics pollution is linked to economics, human rights and sustainability
  • Reflect on the sustainable development goals
Lesson steps
  1. How does plastic enter the ocean? (10 mins)
    Students follow the process of plastic production and discover that plastic enters the ocean in many ways.
  2. How does plastic pollution occur? (10 mins)
    Students discuss different ways in which ocean plastic pollution can occur and how this might affect marine life.
  3. Case studies (15 mins)
    Through exploring the case studies students discover some complex social and ethical issues which affect the plastic pollution problem.
  4. How does this affect the global community? (15 mins)
    Students consider the perspectives of different stakeholders and debate how economics, human rights and sustainability all influence plastics pollution. They then create soundbites from some of the individual characters involved.
  5. Innovation Diary (10 mins)
    Students review the sustainable development goals and reflect on how ocean plastic pollution is related to many of the goals.
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