Children using pester power over plastics
An event aimed to show children the damage marine plastics are doing to our seas and marine life has highlighted how youngsters' potential 'pester power' could make the difference.
More than 150 school children completed a short survey before and after taking part in activities at the Ecover School's Blue Mile event in Plymouth.
The children were educated on the impacts of marine litter, the predominance of plastic and the time necessary for litter to degrade in order to show them that a greener approach to waste is needed for the de-pollution and health of our seas.
A recent review from the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) says that conditions are ripe for the sort of "mass extinction event that has afflicted the oceans in the past".
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Experts think the number of species being affected by pollution is increasing all the time, and among the worst hit are turtles, seals and whales.
Beau Le Bredonchel, Outreach Specialist at Plymouth University said: "If these youngsters don't understand what is happening to the seas then it will only get worse. Without change, we'll have no fish or marine life in the seas."
Expert on the matter, Professor Richard Thompson explained how the children have a crucial role to play in the reduction of marine litter, not just because they are the "consumers of the future" but because they can use 'pester power' to influence their parents now. The children have since reported that they are encouraging their families and friends to be proactive about reducing litter.
Conrad Humphreys, Organiser of the Ecover Schools Blue Mile said: "These results are very interesting because they show that knowledge of the issue of ocean plastics does make a difference to this generation.
"The findings will certainly have a bearing on our schools programme going into next year and hopefully we can encourage more young people to influence their family's lifestyle choices."