Marine Plastic Pollution

Plastic has facilitated remarkable advancements for humanity. It has enhanced healthcare, increased energy efficiency in homes, and lessened the demand for natural resources like wood and cotton by offering plastic substitutes.. Its persistence means we should be wasting less, not more. Plastic degradation occurs over hundreds, possibly thousands of years, highlighting its dual nature: a lasting asset and a persistent problem.

Researchers

Hi, welcome to our website! 

We are Grade 5 students welcoming you to know deeper about our research on Marine Plastic Pollution. We were curious about why so many marine animals died because of plastic and what we can do to reduce marine plastic pollution. Here, we proudly present our findings on the causes and solutions for reducing marine plastic pollution.

Nanda

Throughout the exhibition process,
I felt sad when I learned that there are so many victims of marine plastic pollution.
I felt challenged when I first learned the skills, and technique to make an eco-brick.
I felt nervous when I was sharing my knowledge to the students at NJIS.
I felt nervous but excited when I was doing my panel presentation.
I feel happy to have reached this point in the exhibition process with my team.

Aurora

For me, I have felt kind of happy and excited because of the trips and explorings.
And I also felt annoyed because I had to do those homework at home for exhibition.
But since we had to explain to other schools, and students, I also felt nervous.
Afraid to say anything wrong and some stoppings when I speak.

Raihan

I felt a little embarrassed at the beginning of this exhibition but after a few weeks I felt I was no longer embarrassed.
I felt happy because I got a lot of information from resources.
I felt excited when I was going to make eco-bricks I felt excited when I was going to tell students at NJIS about my exhibition.
I felt nervous when I was going to do panel presentation.

Akira

At the beginning of the exhibition, I felt excited and nervous because I didn't know who my mentor would be, the friends I would meet in my group, and will my exhibition be challenging. But on the other hand, I was excited because I would go to different places and meet others. I also felt a little scared because I was worried I would do something wrong while speaking in front of Bu Uchu, Bu Atya, Mr.Arie, and Mr.Ryan and in front of other schools like NJIS. But I am grateful that my friends and I can do all we can to help marine life survive and help reduce marine plastic pollution in the ocean.

Sharfraz

For me, during the exhibition I felt nervous but fun at the same time. For example when I gone to a school called NJIS to teach them how they could make Eco bricks, I felt really scared.
But when I was inside, I felt calm and even made some friends there.
Also at the panel session before, I was about to cry on the way to school, because I was really scared.
But then at the panel session, I was calm while explaining. Sure I was a bit nervous but It was a fun experience.

Mentors

We are grateful for accompanying the students on this exhibition journey. It’s remarkable how they identified issues, enjoyed conducting experiments, and took enjoyable actions.

Moreover, this journey was not without its challenges. It required numerous mentor meetings, insightful expert interviews, and rigorous experiments. Yet, it is with great privilege that we have witnessed the students not only overcoming these challenges but also achieving their goals.

Ms. Lala, Ms. Maya and Ms. Salma

How the World Works

An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.

Central Idea


Reducing plastic pollution can help marine life to survive

Learning Outcomes


1) Describe the effect of plastic pollution on marine life
2) Explain the cause of marine plastic pollution
3) Share ways to reduce marine plastic pollution

Key Concepts


1) Change
2) Causation
3) Responsibility

Related Concepts


1)Plastic pollution
2)Ecosystem
3) Marine life
4) Balance
5)Biodiversity
6)Interdependence

Lines of Inquiry


1)The effect of plastic pollution on marine life (Change)
2)The cause of marine plastic pollution (Causation)
3)Ways to reduce marine plastic pollution (Responsibility)

Lines of Inquiry


  • We understand plastic pollution can damage the environment.
  • We apply proper waste management.
  • We apply proper waste management.

Doughnut Economics

Social Foundation

Water, food and health

Ecological Ceiling

Chemical pollution and biodiversity loss

Why we choose this problem

We choose this problem to reduce plastic pollution so we can help marine life to survive.

Al Qur'an Verse

Q.S Ar Rum ayat 41

” Telah nampak kerusakan di darat dan di laut disebabkan karena perbuatan tangan manusia, supaya Allah merasakan kepada mereka sebahagian dari (akibat) perbuatan mereka, agar mereka kembali (ke jalan yang benar).”

We produce approximately 300 million tons of plastic each year, comparable to the weight of the entire global adult population. Despite the significant benefits plastic offers to our lives, our capacity to waste management falls short. About half of the plastic we produce is used only once before being discarded, much of which ends up polluting our oceans, posing serious risks to marine ecosystems and wildlife. Immediate action is necessary.

The environmental and ecological impacts extend beyond marine life. As plastic travels through ocean currents, it breaks down into tiny particles, along with other sources like fabric fibers and cosmetic beads. Regrettably, those plastic particles attract harmful toxins, come from industrial and agricultural activities over the years.

These toxins bind to plastic particles, forming small toxic capsules. Marine animals consume these particles, passing the toxins up the food chain until humans consume them. This increase in toxins poses a significant risk to human health.

PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Using articles related to plastic pollution and marine life, we identified globally significant issues. The next step is to write down our ideas in a graphic organizer or mind map about how reducing marine plastic pollution can help marine life survive.

STEP i:
Identifying Globally Significant Issues

Exploring, Wondering, and Questioning

STEP iI:
Determining Timing and Time Frame

Making Connections between Previous Learning and Current Learning

We examine each step and develop a timeline to ensure the exhibition project runs smoothly. Additionally, we’ve engaged experts to enhance our understanding of plastic recycling and potential products derived from recycled plastic. With sufficient information gathered, we intend to take action within the designated timeframe.

The Learning Continuums

K-1

State of Matter

Our knowledge  of the world grows through experimenting.

K-2

Environment

People interact, use and value environments in different ways.

Grade 1

Earth’s Resources

Choices we make can support the sustainability of the Earth’s resources.

Grade 2

Natural Habitat

Human interactions with natural habitats have impacts on other living things.

the Guest Speakers/Fieldtrip

To learn what marine plastic pollution looks like, we visited a beach near Jakarta: Tanjung Pasir Beach, located in Tangerang, Banten.
We were surprised at how much plastic and other waste covered the seashore. We observed and collected the type of plastic waste polluting the area. The type of plastic waste commonly found there was plastic cups or bottles.

To learn and get information from the government, we visited Tim Koordinasi Nasional Penanganan Sampah Laut division from Kementrian Lingkungan Hidup dan Kehutanan.

We found out that, according to our President Joko Widodo, Indonesia is committed to reducing marine plastic waste by up to 70% by 2025.

To learn about waste management on land, we went to Bank Sampah Berdikari.

We get information that plastic waste can have economic value and be reused to create various products and ecobrick.

STEP iII:
Engaging Support from the Learning Community

Collecting Data and Reporting Findings or Researching and Seeking Information

In response to the questions we gathered in Step 1, we consulted experts to collect information on plastic pollution. These experts include Tim Koordinasi Penanganan Sampah Laut (from Kementrian Lingkungan Hidup dan Kehutanan Republik Indonesia), Ibu Marini (from Bank Sampah), Bapak Aang (an eco-brick expert), and Bapak Idwansyah (from Block Solution). Through these interactions, we acquired valuable insights into our areas of curiosity, inspiring ideas for experiments and actions.

An ecobrick is a plastic bottle densely packed with used plastic to create a reusable building block that achieves plastic sequestration. To make one, all you need is a stick and a bottle.

Ecobricks do more than just prevent plastic from polluting the biosphere. Ecobricking also keeps plastic from industrially processing– which often creates even more problems than it solves. Best of all, ecobricks can put to use locally to build all sorts of great green things!

Block solutions is a Finland-based company who has developed environmentally friendly Block-modules. The Block-modules are used for building sustainable and safe homes for people all around the world, thus fostering local well-being.

The company is using local raw materials like recycled plastics for the Blocks. In Europe they have decided to use biocomposite as the raw material for the Blocks. Biocomposite which can contain up to 50% of organic fibers and 50% recycled polypropylene from verified and trusted origins to ensure the safe use. The carbon footprint of the used raw materials are close to zero. Comparing the Blocks with conventional building materials like concrete, the carbon footprint can be up to 20 times lower.

STEP iV:
Organizing Learning

Experimenting and Playing with Possibilities Solving Problems in a Variety of Way

Following interviews with experts, we conducted two experiments to further our findings. Plastic has an effect when exposed to sunlight.  This led us to examine the durability of eco-bricks under sun exposure.

Experiment: Testing the Strength of Eco-brick Under Sun Exposure

First thing first, we put the eco-bricks in areas with maximum sunlight exposure and left them outdoors for a full day. The following day, we measured the weight of each of our eco-bricks using a scale but found no significant changes in weight or color during the first week. Therefore, we extended the experiment into the second week.

Since it continuously rainfall during the second week, we relocated the eco-bricks to a shady areas. However, after another two weeks, we observed no constant change we expected in weight or color.

Based on the data and observation, we came up with an analysis and conclusion for our experiment results. Unfortunately, we failed to prove the hypothesis because of these factors:

  1. We think the eco-bricks got less sun exposure because of the current weather. At that time, it was always raining.
  2. There are different weight measurements from the scales. We use three different scales, and the weight constantly changes.
  3. We think plastic needs more time under the sun to degrade. Based on our research, depending on the sunlight exposure, it took years for plastic materials to break down.

Discussions

Parents-Mentors Meeting

STEP V:
Monitoring the Exhibition

Taking and Depending a Position

We monitor the progress of our exhibition project by attending mentor meetings three times a week involving all team members and mentors. We document ideas generated during discussions, exchange insights, and incorporate suggestions from mentors and experts through the exhibition journal.

SELF-ASSESSMENT

  • We show teamwork and support.
  • We get lots of information from resources.
  • We can share our knowledge.
  • Indonesia committed to reducing 70% of marine plastic waste by 2025. 
  • Be more responsible for plastic consumption and avoid single-use plastic.
  • Prevent plastic waste using 4R: Refuse, Reuse, Reduce, Recycle.  

We learned to make eco-bricks. We collect plastic waste, create eco-bricks, and participate in the eco-brick community social platform.

STEP VI:
Sharing the Exhibition

Establishing and Testing Theories

As long-life learners, the more we share our knowledge, the more enlightened we become. We demonstrate this principle by sharing our project through our actions.

We decided to take action of advocacy when we had to share how to make eco-bricks with communities: Al Jabr Islamic School visual art holistic program and North Jakarta Intercultural School (NJIS). We also practiced social entrepreneurship when we made eco brick chairs and participated when we joined the eco brick community. 

On a personal level, we took it upon ourselves to create an eco-brick game and an eco-brick infographic. These were not just projects but testaments to our dedication and passion for advocating and practicing social entrepreneurship.

Panel Session

Eco Brick Making with Members of the Communities

Eco Brick Making

Eco Brick Game

Infograpghic

References

Guest Speakers/ Fieldtrip:

  • Kementrian Lingkungan Hidup dan Kehutanan Republik Indonesia: Tim Koordinasi Penanganan Sampah Laut
  • Bank Sampah: Ibu Marini
  • Eco Brick expert: Bapak Aang
  • Block Solution: Bapak Idwansyah
Books/Website:
 
  • https://justoneocean.org/ocean-plastic-facts