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Upstream Battle®

Upstream Battle®

Upstream Battle®

Marine litter pollution is one of the biggest challenges facing the environment, and has an effect on everything from flooding to air quality and even our food. 80% of marine litter comes from land; washed into gutters, blown into streams, lost down drains, it makes it's way into waterways and eventually to the sea. It’s estimated that up to 12.7 million tonnes of plastic gets into the sea each and every year – that's a truck full of litter a minute. It's killing wildlife, threatening ecosystems and habitats, and is extremely difficult and expensive to clean up. 

Upstream Battle is all about stopping litter on it's journey from the source in towns, cities, drains and waterways, to ending up in the sea - that's why we call it "source to sea litter". 

There are lots of ways that you can get involved in tackling the problem of source to sea litter, by raising awarenessgathering information and taking action in your school and community to help us stop marine litter pollution!

Find out more about our Upstream Battle education activities below

STEM the Flow

Now bigger than ever before, our exciting engineering-based design competition opened to schools across Scotland in 2023! 

STEM the Flow challenges pupils to investigate and identify a solution to help to tackle marine litter upstream at source, by either capturing litter already in our waterways, or finding ways to stop it getting there in the first place! 

View the 2023-24 winners
Plastic Pollution Live Lessons

This lesson includes a short, inspiring lesson for Early Years-P3 with children’s author Sarah Roberts courtesy of the Scottish Book Trust, a full morning for P4-P7 classes with science writer Isabel Thomas, our own KSB experts and Marine Conservation Society, and a pre-recorded workshop for High Schools.

Watch again

Browse the teaching resources and lesson plans from our Eco-Schools topics to support learning about marine litter and plastic pollution


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