School tour 2022; Pollution of the sea
Between 8-14 tonnes of plastic ends up in the sea every year, and we know that plastic does not disappear from nature, so it must be removed because it is a danger to animals and people. They eat and live in this which is neither their natural habitat nor food.
Around 1 million seabirds die annually as a result of plastic.
They get stuck in ropes and similar strong material, which causes them to drown or, like the sole in the picture, to not be able to open their beaks to get food.
Or they have eaten plastic that provides no nutrition whatsoever, and as a result, starve to death.
It is not just the plastic itself that can be harmful to us and the animals, when it is in the sea it will absorb other chemical substances and is thus toxic to the person who eats it.
Plastic has also been detected in human faeces, what we do not yet know is how this affects us, or our hormonal system. You can read about harmful environmental toxins and how they can affect people here: https://miljostatus.miljodirektoratet.no/tema/miljogifter/prioriterte-miljogifter/hormonforstyrrende-stoffer/
Plastic does not disappear in nature, it breaks down into smaller and smaller particles and all the chemical components spread in the food chain. Around 1 million seabirds die annually as a result of having eaten or become entangled in plastic. Birds, fish and mammals of all sizes mistake pieces of plastic for normal food and eat this. The stomach fills up with non-degradable material, this means that the creatures do not feel hunger and do not take in food, and thus starve completely.
Over half of all plastic that is made is used only once. And 80% of all marine litter comes from land. This means that if you throw a piece of chocolate paper on land, it will be taken by wind and rain and eventually end up in the sea. Much sinks to the bottom, some floats in the sea, the rest is washed ashore. All three places are inhabited by creatures that are harmed by this pollution.
Beach cleaning is useful
The Norwegian Environmental Protection Association has since 2017 cleared plastic along the coast of the whole of Norway, and we see that the benefit/transfer value of this work is great. Both in that we meet physically and remove many tonnes of plastic in the local environment, increased commitment from the local population who get help to clean up, and shed light on the problem, which in turn leads to more and more people not only helping to clean up, but those who clean up , do not throw plastic into nature. The locals will also feel ownership of their own area and become more aware of their own everyday life.
In order for us to understand how bad it is with plastic in nature, we will show children/young people by having them participate in both outdoor education and beach cleaning. It is only when you physically get to grips with the problem and take ownership of it, that you realize why you shouldn't throw rubbish out. That's when attitudes change!
Therefore, from April to mid-June, we will visit Western Norway with an outdoor pop-up classroom to offer teaching and beach cleaning with school classes.
The content of the school tour is delivered by employees of the Norwegian Environmental Protection Association who have a solid background in marine subjects and environmental protection. The central content of the scheme for
the schools will depend on the age and grade level of the pupils, as well as the time available for the activities. Therefore, these sessions will be tailored specifically for each school / class, and we will adapt each session interactively to motivate the students.
The general topics and activities covered are the following:
Exhibition with marine plastic (objects from discoveries, sea sole and swan's feet, trawl nets, etc.)
- Study of fresh local microplastic samples
- Sorting and registration of collected plastic
- Screening of films and photos, knowledge and experiences from all over Norway's coast
- Food/snacks from the sea (kelp chips etc.)
- Possibility of clean-up operations where conditions permit
We adapt each school visit specifically for each school / class, and we will adapt each session interactively to motivate the students.
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