Blog #4: Round 2 – How can education help reduce plastic consumption?

My inquiry question is: How can education help reduce plastic consumption?

Over the past decades, plastics have become a world-known material that could be made into varieties of things. However, the revolutionary discovery of plastics has led to many damaging causes to our planet. In blog #3, I talked about when and why plastics were invented, the most important types of plastics, and why plastics were made. My goal was to give readers a better understanding of how harmful plastics can be and how they work. In today’s blog, my primacy is to answer the big question; “How can education help reduce plastic consumption?”, alongside 2 other questions leading up to my topic:

  • Would schools make a difference in reducing plastic pollution if they educated students about plastics? How should schools educate students about plastics?


Would schools make a difference in reducing plastic pollution if they educated students about plastics?

The simple answer is yes, and there’s a study to prove the claim! In 2018, researchers conducted an experiment where they had students and educators participate in designing a project to raise awareness towards marine littering. After completion of the project, each participant was asked to complete an assessment of how the project changed their insights about marine litter. The results were no surprise; everyone who participated says their attitude toward marine litter had dramatically changed.


In what ways can schools help reduce plastics consumption?

It is important for schools to introduce awareness of plastic consumption to students at a young age. However, most schools around the world do not educate students about plastics nor do they promote eradicating plastic pollution. The best ways/strategies schools can use to help with plastic consumption are:


How can education help reduce plastic consumption?

Students can learn all the reading and writing theories they can handle, but unless a teacher shows them the theories in action, they’re missing a key component in the learning process! The same can be said of teaching students to care for the planet.

Educating students about plastic consumption is an important to step schools need to take to save our dying planet. As we’ve already discussed the strategies schools can use to educate students about plastic consumption, let’s talk about how education would help reduce plastics.


[Below, I will be explaining how every strategy (listed in question 2) could help schools reduce plastics]

  1. Hold an educational film screening 

By showing educational films, students can be educated about the kinds of actions that can help reduce the number of discarded plastics

  1. Organize school, park, river, and beach cleans

Schools should inspire passion. Organizing fun events to help clean the environment is a helpful way school can help our planet! Not only is organizing daily clean-ups helpful for our planet, but students can also have lots of fun with peers while doing the deed!

  1. Stop selling plastic bottles, encourage reusables instead

Using refillable water bottles is an ideal way to cut down on plastic waste! If schools were to encourage students to bring a reusable water bottle and cut down on vending machines with plastic bottles, it could certainly help reduce plastic consumption.

  1. Encourage less plastic in packed lunches

Did you know that the average school-age child generates approximately 67 pounds (30 kg) of waste from lunch packaging each year? That’s an enormous amount of garbage, especially when you multiply it by the number of kids who go to school.

By encouraging students to pack less plastic in their lunches, we could save over 160799 tons of plastics (in just elementary schools alone) each year!

  1. Choose reusables for school canteens 

School canteens are known for their non-reusable plastic trays, plastic bowls, and plastic yogurt cups. By swapping “compostable plastic” items for reusable alternatives, such as ceramic mugs, stainless steel cutlery, and glass cups; schools would save up to 45kg per year!

 Tiffany Yao



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5 Replies to “Blog #4: Round 2 – How can education help reduce plastic consumption?”

  1. Hello Tiffany,
    I like your post on plastic consumption reduction. With the climate crisis threatening life on earth, everyone must play their role in the betterment of not only this, but also the world to come.
    You asked how students can help in reducing plastic consuption. May I add my thoughts?
    I think butterfly effect in its course is a primary solution to eradicating plastics. How so? By marriage. Marriage? Yes. Marriage between butterfly effect+mother Teresa+minimalism. What am I talking about?

    Minimalism means we reduce the things we have and own. Why own two cars while you can only drive in one at a time? Why buy a new bottle if you can clean and re-use the one in your room? Why increase demands for production while you can donate so much stuff stuck in your room, by so, the other person wont have to buy, by so, the company wont have to produce more.
    Is that not the power of butterfly effect? 1 plastic bottle not disposed brings the world one step closer towards safety. It starts with you and I. And the whole butterfly effect team and the whole province and the whole world and the whole planet.
    And what about Mother Tersa? We students should do all these solutions you wrote with love. Not because we are morally or by law oblidged to keep Earth plastic-free, but because we love our home. Its the only home we have for now. Its the only home future kids have.
    Thank You for the great post!

  2. Hi Tiffany,
    Your blog post was very interesting and informational. I really enjoyed reading it. I think that the questions you chose to research are very important and were well chosen.

    For your future posts, remember to do your citations in APA style. This is the citation generator that I use : It’s the quickest and most accurate one that I’ve used so far.

    I’m looking forwards your next post and to talk about your project with you on Friday!

    Sofia B.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed my blog Sofia, and thanks for letting me know about citing links:) I’m also very much looking forward to talking about our projects with each other on Friday!

  3. Hey Tiffany,
    Your formatting for the blog post is so well written and clear!
    I was just wondering, from your own experience, out of all of the methods you mentioned what do you think the most effective solution in educating those in our age range be? would you choose a more technology oriented solution like the educational film screening? if so or if not, why?
    Here are some links related to your topic that I hope help with your future research.

    good luck!!

    • Hey Sanam! That’s a great question. Personally, I think all the methods I’ve provided should be educated to children starting from age 8; as that’s when most children should start taking more responsibility for their recycling choices!

      The educational film screening is a great way to teach students about plastics, though I do think hosting cleaning events would do a better job of educating students to not litter and to care for the environment!

      Again, thanks for your questions:) Really made me think a lot!

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