Sample Projects for Young Students

Examples of Student Projects that can help reduce plastic debris going into our oceans

Work on a project to raise awareness about plastic in the oceans in your school or community. For example create a hand-out brochure or information sheet, posters, or a presentation, or create a talking or music video to post on YouTube.

Develop ways to reduce the use of plastic in your school and/or community or beyond. Write or talk to stores and restaurants, especially fast food restaurants, to stop their use of plastics such as plastic bags, containers, drinking straws, cups, plates, cutlery, and single-use water bottles.  In several places governments have passed laws to ban the use of many of these items.  If your community still allows them, write to, or meet with, your local government about banning the use of one or more of them.

As a class project, have each student bring in a list of all the plastics used in his/her home and discuss ways that other materials can be used, especially for single use plastic items.  If you run out of ideas, see

Think about how a plastic product or packaging can be made in a more environment-ally-friendly way. Write an e-mail or call the manufacturer with your suggestion.

Take one plastic package you have discarded, like a chip bag, put it in an envelope and mail it to the product manufacturer with a note to the CEO or president of the company demanding they do better.


Organize or join a beach cleanup in your community or get involved in a shoreline cleanup program. (In Canada you can join the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. In the United States you can volunteer for the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup program.)

We need to greatly reduce the amount of plastics that are used only once and then thrown away. So little of plastic gets recycled and once it is in the world, it’s going    to stay in the world.  We need to stop them from being created in the first place.

These are just a few ideas. Pick or think of a project that appeals to you. We all have different talents to use to help reduce the amount of plastic going into our oceans.

Featured image by Forest and Kim Starr