Chapter 4: ‘Bad Plastics - Oceans Free of Plastic’: the role of education
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Oceans are experiencing a reduction in biodiversity due to both overexploitation and various forms of pollution, i.e. plastic waste. To raise the awareness of higher education students about this environmental problem, an educational resource entitled Bad plastics | Oceans free of plastic was elaborated. The resource was structured on the 7E teaching model and focused on UNESCO’s Sustainable Development Goal 14 – Life Below Water. In a first stage, using digital resources students explored the causes of plastic pollution and its consequences. This was followed by an outdoor activity which involved identifying, collecting and registering plastics found on a local beach. Finally, in laboratory, they analysed the plastics quantitatively and calculated the Clean Coast Index. The students planned and implemented a scientific exhibition to raise awareness in primary school students about ocean plastic pollution, to empower the community. The higher education students’ assessment showed that their participation in Bad plastics activities effectively contributed to empower them to be active citizens when helping to solve ocean plastic pollution.

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