Once hailed as an innovation, it’s becoming more and more apparent that single-use plastics are destroying our planet.
Inevitably ending up in our oceans, millions of marine life are dying as a direct result of our wasted single-use plastics.
With such a pervasive issue currently topical in the media, year 10 UTC students set about creating their very own solutions as part of their project-based learning.
The year ten plastics project is a term-long project that had all of our KS4 groups looking into how they would tackle the large social issue of plastics in our oceans.
Some impressive ideas emerged from the project. Some students looked practically on how to prevent plastics reaching the ocean, others looked at how humans can make changes in their plastic use and even dissected fish to highlight the extent of the issue. In those fish, the students found microplastics, meaning there are small pieces of plastic in our food sources in the fish that we would eat. One group even looked into how we could use mushrooms to create biodegradable replacements to plastic.
The project culminated in a series of poster presentations on Friday 23rd March. Students showcased their research and innovative ideas by producing posters and in some cases, prototypes, of their designs.
One group applied their research skills in-house and took to the school’s refectory to explore.
What they found is that the kitchen alone used up to a whopping 61kg of plastics per year! In a conscious effort to help reduce the impact of plastics already littering our environment, they set to work producing cardboard cups as a substitute. With each one labelled “thank you for saving the planet!” the long-term aim is to replace the plastics completely with these biodegradable alternatives.
Students have impressed staff massively with their efforts, and with the projects now coming to a close, it’s clear that students have taken their assignments to heart. By adopting their work as passion projects they have succeeded in creating workable, on-going solutions towards this important environmental issue, all of which can be implemented practically going forward.