Plastic bag storer
Reuse your empty milk containers and create a handy plastic bag storer!
Throwing away plastic waste is causing a great deal of damage to the animals in our oceans. This activity gives you an easy way to store plastic bags ready for reusing. All you need is an empty plastic bottle, scissors and tape, and you will be able to help to reduce the amount of plastic that is damaging our environment.
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First watch this story called Somebody Swallowed Stanley by Sarah Roberts. This shows the danger that plastic waste can cause to sea creatures if it gets into rivers, lakes or seas. Older children may want to skip to the second video below.
In this video, Sarah Roberts, animal behaviourist and author of Somebody Swallowed Stanley talks about how plastic pollution harms sea creatures. She also tell us how we can all help.
Now find your plastic bottle. If you have just washed it out, you need to leave it to dry before you can start. Take the lid off your bottle and save it for later.
You need to make a hole near to the bottom on one side of the bottle. To do this, pinch the bottle together at about one third of the way up from the bottom. Snip the plastic with your scissors to make a small slit.
Push your bottle back into shape. Starting from the slit you have made, cut a hole into the side of your bottle. This should be big enough to fit your hand into, but no bigger than a third of the way up your bottle.
Once you have made your hole, you need to make sure that you can’t snag your hand or the bag on any rough edges by covering them with tape. This also stops the plastic from splitting when you push the plastic bags in. Cut a piece of tape the same length as the edge of your hole.
Stick one half of your tape on the outside of your bottle, along the edge of your hole. Make sure you have enough tape to fold over the edge and stick to the inside of the bottle.
Add more tape until all of the edges of the hole are covered.
Put the lid back on your bottle. Push the plastic bags as far as they will go into the top of your bottle. Keep on pushing plastic bags into your bottle until it is full. You will be surprised at how man can fit in such a small space!
If you want to, you can decorate your bottle using permanent markers or stickers.
When you want to use a plastic bag, you just need to pull one out of the hole.
You can put the plastic bags back into your bottle using the hole, or by taking off the lid and pushing them into the top.
How many plastic bags can you fit into your bottle?
Can you think of other ways to reuse plastic waste?
What else can you reuse or recycle in your home?
Age 3 up
About 30 minutes
You know your children better than anyone, and you should judge whether they’re ready for this activity. You might want to think in particular about:
always take care when using scissors. Plastic bags and marker lids are a suffocation hazard. Permanent markers can cause damage to clothes and furniture. Ensure all plastic bottles are thoroughly cleaned before use.
Careers link: Animal Behaviourist
Animal behaviourists study the way animals behave and try to find the causes of certain types of behaviour such as hunting or raising their young. They try to find out what might cause this behaviour to change.
Attributes: observant, passionate, self motivated
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