Single-Use Plastic in Children’s Toys

The pupils from Glebe School in London tell us about their perspective on addressing the issue of single use plastic in children’s toys.

For our Make a Difference Challenge we decided that we wanted to look at the problems of plastic pollution and in particular, the use of single use plastic in children’s toys. We chose this because we saw first-hand the plastic litter that was surrounding our community. We were also inspired by a geography project on how plastic pollution affects our oceans.

After we had chosen our topic we were spurred on to research the issue further and we found some worrying statistics. We found out that 8 million tons [rising to 10 million in 2023] of plastic finds its way into our oceans every year which is made worse by a toy market reliant on plastics.

We took our research further by looking into the most popular children’s toys to see how much plastic they actually used. We were shocked to see the massive pile of single use plastic on our desks after we have finished unwrapping just one toy! We knew we had to do something about this.

‘My favourite part was feeling that I was involved in an important issue that affects us all. I learnt that we don’t have to be passive observers we can actually raise awareness and encourage people to change.’ – Pupil

We thought long and hard in order to find the action that would have the most impact. We decided to write to the toy companies using the persuasive techniques that we learned in our English lessons. Our letters outlined the plastic pollution problem and how this will impact our future negatively because it would leave a polluted world for us! We told them our ideas for reducing plastic pollution such as investing profits into recycling the plastic their toys use.

Our campaign had a really positive impact as it led to our school council having discussions about reducing single-use plastic in school too. We know that adding our voices to other children’s voices will eventually have a positive impact on plastic pollution in our world.

‘I would encourage everyone to be brave and take a chance. It has helped me to look at problems in different ways.’ – Pupil

Sign up for the Make a Difference Challenge.