This video includes the history of plastic, a description of different plastics and their uses, marine pollution, microplastics, biomagnification, and plastics found in humans.
The video concludes with observations on the complicated role of plastic and specific action items to reduce plastic pollution.
The video offers a nuanced view, instead of just claiming to "ban all plastics." (For example, plastic is used in life-saving medical equipment and to keep food fresh in places that lack robust refrigeration networks.)
Beautiful animations bring this video to life.
You have have to watch an ad before and/or during the video.
Social studies or civics students could research specific legislation banning plastic. Many municipal governments in the United States have plastic bag bans or similar legislation to reduce plastic pollution.
Students could create a campaign in their school or community to ban single-use plastics. Campaigns could include specific items like water bottles, plastic bags, or balloons. More robust campaigns would change systems, such as the removal of vending machines; changing plastic-intensive holiday traditions such as birthdays, Halloween, or Valentine's Day; or changing systems in the cafeteria.
This resource video accurately characterizes the complexity of the plastic pollution problem. It is a multifaceted dilemma that does not have one single solution. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
HS-ESS3-3 Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
D4.7.9-12 Assess options for individual and collective action to address local, regional, and global problems by engaging in self-reflection, strategy identification, and complex causal reasoning.
Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
Speaking & Listening (K-12)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.