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Music Education
Resources by Paula Downes, a lot of music by Andrew Downes

Reducing Plastic Waste

Photo by Bob Jones

On this page you are going to learn about the impact of our plastic waste on our planet and what we can do to reduce it.

In the following animation, you will hear a song about enjoying being by the sea in Barcelona. Later on you will learn about how people in Barcelona are working hard to reduce the plastic litter on their beaches.

Audio only:

Andrew Downes Composer · Andrew Downes' Songs for the Planet: Reducing Plastic Waste

This is from a series of six songs called "Songs for the Planet" by Andrew Downes for all ages with chamber orchestra or backing track.
FREE word sheet
Purchase the Sheet Music
Watch all six songs in one video (contains counting to guide conductors in live mutimedia performances

Analyse the poetry and music here.

Following his series, Blue Planet II, which highlighted the damage plastic waste was doing to our planet, particularly to our oceans and beaches, David Attenborough has inspired a huge movement to reducing plastic waste. Watch the following video to find out more:

Ridding our beaches of plastic

In Barcelona, the new Pure Clean Earth Movement has been working hard. The video below shows the 7th successful event, taking it to a total of 76 Large Bags of Plastic that has been collected in just 12.5 hours of beach clean up events. The Beach Clean Ups are organized online and people volunteer their time to help clean the beaches and raise awareness of the plastic problem that we have all seen, whether on the beach or our local city. The plan for Pure Clean Earth is to take these clean up events all around the world, helping local communities to organize and set-up these events so that they can be maintained and continued throughout the year. Pure Clean Earth will assist everybody looking to start their own event. You can find the events on all social media sights by searching 'Pure Clean Earth'. It is time we stand together and be the solution to the widespread plastic crisis that this planet is facing. Thank you for taking your time to watch this.

Now discuss the following:

  1. How much plastic waste do you produce? Think of all the different types of goods you buy. What do you do with the plastic packaging and where does it end up?
  2. Is recycling the best solution?
  3. What other solutions can you suggest?
  4. What about all the other packaging materials. Are these as problematic?


Making an ecobrick is an excellent way to alert you to the amount of unnecessary plastic you are using and it can help you to work out for yourself how to reduce your consumption. Read more about ecobricks here:

Task: Create an ecobrick in order to learn how much plastic waste you personally are producing. Work out ways to reduce your plastic consumption and present this to the class.

Spreading the word

Many people seem to have no idea of the impact of the plastic waste on our planet. It is surprising to see so many people still drinking water from throw away bottles for example. What can we do to change people's mindsets?

Task: How can you get the message out to people that they need to reduce their plastic consumption? Could you create a video, a leaflet a website, an event? Work out how you can talk to people to persuade them to use reusable items. How would you approach the conversation in order to have the most successful outcome? Discuss in groups and come up with a plan of action.

Other resources:

Join the facebook group, Ecobricks UK, or a more local group:

Or these other facebook groups:

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Music Education
Resources by Paula Downes, a lot of music by Andrew Downes

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