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Aberlemno Primary School

Project Title: “STOP POLLUTION, USE THE SOLUTION; DON’T DROP IT, STOP IT!”

Aberlemno Primary School's marine litter art sculpture

Our title comes from our School Litter Slogan.  We have included a short animation of this.  We are all familiar with this slogan and it has been our slogan for a number of years, being passed down through the school generations.  It is very much embedded in our school life.  We felt it summed up everything we aim for with regards to litter, and if followed, would prevent as much harm for our sea animals. 

What did you do?

We have previously regularly litter picked in our local community, where we use a planned route along our main road, including the local layby, along country roads and past our local church.  Our last community litter pick was carried out in August 2023 (we aim for annually).  Usually we carry out this community litter pick in June or August as the road and weather conditions are usually safer/better.  However we were able to use our knowledge of previous collections to support our learning. 

Over the last few weeks, our litter picking has been focused within our school grounds:  on the concrete, on the grass and in our wildlife garden.  We worked in 3 teams to cover each of the areas.  We didn’t collect a vast amount of litter, as litter tends not to be a huge problem within our grounds, but we went on to analyse the litter, attempting to identify what litter we thought was caused directly by us (school) and what was caused by other means. 

What did you find?

We analysed the litter gathered in our school grounds, considering where it came from.  We considered which was likely to be our school litter, and which was likely to be from elsewhere, and where.  Our school is next to a main road.  We are aware that some of our litter comes from passing cars e.g. fizzy juice bottles as we don’t have these in school.  We’re also aware of this from our previous community litter picks around our local area, when we find lots of juice bottles, cans and fast food packaging, particularly amongst the verges along the roadside.  We’re aware that we are situated on top of a hill, which is often windy, and some litter gets blown across the fields from households etc. too.  We recorded our findings on a Prowise slide, highlighting ‘our’ probable litter.  Some litter we could identify as ‘ours’ e.g. toys, crisp packets, old gardening gloves, cable ties that had been from notices on our fencing. 

Litter pick analysis data

Students identified litter routes from source to sea

School pledge

What will you do to tackle the problem?

As a result of our findings, we’ve pledged to:

  • Individually – do more regular litter picks at school, both during break times and Eco times. 
  • As a school – continue to do a whole school community litter pick each year, but also aim to do a beach clean next term at Easthaven beach (we’ve made links with the action group there). 
  • At home – encourage our families to take their litter home by having a bag/bin in their vehicles to gather any litter produced when out and about.  We shared this with families via Classdojo. 

By working towards these pledges, we aim to reduce the litter in our local environment, as well as a local beach, and other areas we travel to.  Thus reducing the amount of litter which has the potential to travel to the sea/River Tay. 

This project has certainly increased our learner’s awareness of litter and the problem of litter travelling to the sea. 

Our artwork has focused on the animals that would be impacted by sea litter, building on our previous learning about plastics in the ocean.  You’ll notice there’s a jellyfish, a shark, a fish and a couple of turtles trapped by fishing litter (nets/cages) in our piece.  We’ve used some real life sea litter as part of our artwork, which allowed us all to see the sorts of other litter that pollutes our sea, as we weren’t all aware of this.  We’ve learned about making/using biodegradable glue, as well as sourcing environmentally friendly biodegradable paints.  We learned that we couldn’t use colouring pens as they contain toxins that would be harmful to wildlife.  The project has been a great learning journey for us all, captivating our attention and enthusiasm to be more environmentally friendly. 

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