Marine Science Activities for Plastic Free July - Sailors for the Sea

Marine Science Activities for Plastic Free July

 July 10, 2023  | By: Jennifer Brett

Plastic Free July is a time to think about how we use plastics in our own lives, and consider ways we can reduce plastic use, both individually and in our greater communities. As our next generation of ocean stewards, it’s important for kids to learn the issues as well – and it helps if they’re having fun while doing it! Check out these three activities from our KELP (Kids Environmental Lesson Plans) library that address plastic pollution:

Plastic Beach

In “Plastic Beach,” kids will learn about plastic pollution/trash found in our oceans and on our beaches. Students will learn the negative environmental effects of plastic pollution, along with solutions. This activity will have kids looking much more closely at their local beach or lakeshore through analyzing 1-meter by 1-meter sections. Using buckets and sieves or strainers, kids will look through the section of sand – and might just be surprised by the plastics they find!

Biomagnification Game

This activity will get kids moving! Through this tag-inspired game, kids will demonstrate the concept of biomagnification as it relates to plastics and how chemicals and plastics can make it onto our dinner plates.

Biomagnification, also known as bioaccumulation, is the process by which certain substances, such as pollutants or toxins, increase their concentration in the tissues of organisms as they move up the food chain. In this game, the microplastics move from the “krill” to the “salmon” – and ultimately to the fisherman.

How Long ‘Till it’s Gone

Plastic pollution is one of the largest threats facing our oceans. Plastics pose an ever-increasing problem to marine ecosystems, as they are meant to last forever and don’t biodegrade. They break down into smaller and smaller pieces, and don’t get absorbed into our natural systems. This activity will help students understand how long it takes for different items (i.e. orange peel, newspaper, plastic bottle) to degrade and what they degrade into. By the end of the activity, students will learn how to be more environmentally aware of the items they purchase and use.

You can download our complete KELP library of marine science activities at!