Plastic Pollution Facts for Kids – 5 Shocking Facts about Plastic Pollution

Avatar of Youstina Zakhary
Updated on: Educator Review By: Michelle Connolly

Plastics pollute our oceans since 1950’s.Let’s learn five shocking plastic pollution facts for kids.

Plastic Pollution Facts for Kids Fact Number 1: 18 Billion Pounds of Plastic Flows into The Ocean every Year

Plastic is a very useful material that has a lot of helpful characteristics but we have started to use it too much and it affects the environment. Only a small amount of the plastic we make and use gets recycled into new things and a lot ends up in landfills or waterways. This can release chemicals into the environment and plastics can hurt animals in the wild. We can reduce our use of plastic to prevent some of the impact this has.

Plastic Pollution Facts for Kids
Plastic Pollution Facts for Kids: Close-up shot of plastic utensils

Plastic Pollution Facts for Kids Fact Number 2: Ocean Animals Sometimes Eat Plastic and Become Sick

Animals don’t know what plastic is when they see it in the environment and can mistake it for other things like food. One example of this is sea turtles that eat plastic from shopping bags. Sea turtles eat jelly fish as a part of their natural diet. When plastic bags break apart in the ocean and float around they look a bit like jelly fish. Sea turtles eat the plastic bags because they think it’s a jelly fish and this can hurt them.

A good way to reduce the amount of plastic bags we use is to use material bags that are reusable or sturdier bags we don’t throw out when we get home.

Plastic Pollution Facts for Kids

Plastic Pollution Facts for Kids Fact Number 3: Some Plastic in The Ocean Is so Small We Can Barely See It

Unlike natural materials such as food, wool, and bamboo plastic doesn’t biodegrade quickly and become part of the soil again. Plastic can take more than 500 years to break down into the ground or sea. What can happen to plastic in the ocean or waterways is that it breaks apart into tiny pieces. These are called microplastics. These plastic particles are so small that some can’t be seen by the naked eye but they still cause problems for animals that eat them by accident.

Plastic Pollution Facts for Kids Fact Number 4: Plastic Has only Been Mass-produced Since The 1950’s

We use plastic for lots of different things and it is a very common material to see but it is still kind of new. We have only been creating plastic in a large amount since the 1950’s. Waste plastics were seen in the ocean from the 1960’s and as time goes on we are trying to find more alternatives which are less harmful to our planet.

Plastic Pollution Facts for Kids LearningMole
Close-up photo of plastic bottle on the ocean

Plastic Pollution Facts for Kids Fact Number 5: We Can Reduce The Amount of Plastic Pollution by Using Reusable Products

A great way to prevent plastic entering the ocean and reduce the amount sent to landfill is to reduce how much we use. There are easy ways to do this such as buying reusable alternative to plastics we only use once. These are called ‘single-use plastics’ and are really bad for the environment. If you want to take water or juice out with you why not use a refillable water bottle rather than a single-use plastic one. Or next time you go out for a hot chocolate take you own re-useable coffee cup. You can even encourage your parents to try it out.

Plastic Pollution Facts for Kids LearningMole
Clear glass jars on wooden surface along with reusable bags

We hope you enjoyed learning more things about plastic pollution as much as we loved teaching you about them. Now that you know how majestic the environment is, you can move on to learn about other STEM articles like: Carbon Footprint, Carbon Cycle and Climate Change.

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