Kids vs. plastic

Check out these tips to reduce your single-use plastic waste as you go back to school this year.


  • Bring things like scissors, markers, and notebooks from home before buying new ones. You’ll cut down on the plastic packaging these items are often wrapped in.

  • Check out bookstores and stationery shops for new supplies. These stores often sell paper, erasers, markers, and pens without plastic packaging.

  • Buy pencils made of wood instead of mechanical pencils, which are often made (and packaged in) plastic.

  • If it’s OK with your teacher, use colored pencils or crayons instead of markers.


  • Instead of packing your lunch in plastic bags, use reusable containers or cloth sacks.

  • Ask your parents to buy things like nuts, cereal, and snacks from the bulk section of the grocery store to avoid the plastic pack- aging that individual snacks come in.

  • Bring an apple, banana, or orange as a snack—no plastic wrapping necessary!

  • Bring metal forks and spoons from home instead of plastic utensils.

  • If your school isn’t already recycling plastic bottles and utensils, talk to your teacher or principal about how to start.


  • When you bring birthday treats to class, ask your parents to bring reusable cutlery, plates, and cups instead of plastic. Ask your teacher to ask other parents to do the same.

  • Bring reusable water bottles on field trips to avoid using plastic water bottles. Ask your friends to do the same.

  • Ask your teacher to plan a field trip to the local landfill or a nearby creek. Seeing the trash can help convince your friends to help too!

  • Share this page with your teacher so he or she can share it with other students and parents.

Source: National Geographic Kids

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