How to Capture Plastic Pollution

Cover of Plastic Pollution and You: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum to Explore Our Role in Plastic Pollution.

Plastic pollution can become marine debris when it is swept up by stormwater and enters a sewer system that has outlets into local waterways. Once plastic pollution becomes marine debris, it has a negative impact on our communities and ecosystems. Many communities have installed various forms of screens, nets, or other physical structures that capture trash and litter before it enters the sewer systems. In this activity, students will learn about the design and management of trash capture technologies that have been installed in watersheds across the country. Students will then design a trash capture device that could be installed in their community.

“Plastic Pollution and You,” published by New York Sea Grant, is a 15-lesson curriculum focused on marine debris sources, impacts, and solutions. These hands-on lessons and activities help students learn the different types of plastics, their impact on marine and freshwater ecosystems, and about ways to address and prevent plastic pollution. Interdisciplinary elements of this curriculum include policy research, environmental justice, and effective outreach and communication strategies. The curriculum is designed to be appropriate for multiple grade levels, meet New York State and Next Generation Science Standards, and align with several regional environmental action plans. Educators from New York who are interested in getting involved in future revisions to the curriculum can connect with New York Sea Grant through their website.

To learn more about “Plastic Pollution and You,” including an instructional webinar reviewing the units and lessons, visit the New York Sea Grant website.

Lesson Plans
Marine Debris Topics:  
• Types and Sources  
• Impacts  
• Solutions  
• Grade 6-8  
• Grade 9-12  
NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas:  
• ESS3: Earth and Human Activity  
• ETS1: Engineering Design  
• Earth Science  
Special Categories:  
• Research  
• Crafts, Fun & Games  
• Multimedia  
• Action Project  
• Models  
NOAA Regions:   • Great Lakes  • Mid-Atlantic
Last updated Mon, 05/13/2024 - 02:02 pm EDT