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Ocean Plastics Educational Curriculum

Ocean Legacy has created a 10-part curriculum series from beginner to advanced levels which focus on teaching you about ocean plastic, how to change the world around you and how to make a difference in your community to end plastic pollution. Learn practical tools that have been developed over decades of experience by leading experts in this field. All of the lessons are free with registration or you may choose to donate any amount to continue supporting our educational efforts.

Gain Practical Knowledge

Including real-world assignments, sample templates, tables, charts and practical action plans. Gain a deeper understanding of ocean plastic issues, learn about available solutions, and use this empowering knowledge to make a difference!

Shareable Achievements

At the end of each lesson, students will receive a digital badge linked to an evidence page to share on social media! Once all 10 lessons are completed and quizzes are passed, the student will receive a final digital Certificate of Completion to print or share with friends!

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Sample Certificate

Curriculum for Teachers in Class or Online Students

Learn online at your own pace using this website, or teach students in the classroom setting from ages 14 and up. Downloads for teachers include lesson materials, quizzes and teachers guides.

What Will You Learn?

Lessons 1-5 were designed for classroom learning and to provide students and volunteers with an introduction to the ocean plastics issue. In these first five lessons, you will learn:

  • Plastics 101: What are plastics?
  • What are microplastics?
  • How do plastics make their way into the ocean?
  • Why are ocean plastics a problem?
  • What you can do to prevent, reduce and clean-up ocean plastics.
beginner

LEVEL 1
INTRODUCTION: THE OCEAN PLASTICS ISSUE 101 - 105

The Level 1 lessons are suitable for learners age 14 and up! Lessons are currently available in 3 languages: English, French and Spanish.

Free
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101 – LESSON 1: Plastic 101 – Introduction to Ocean Plastics

Plastics 101: An introduction to plastics including how they are made and how to use resin identification codes to improve plastics sorting.

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Free
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102 – LESSON 2: What are Microplastics?

What are Microplastics: An introduction to microplastics including sources of microplastics and why microplastics are an issue.

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Free
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103 – LESSON 3: The Journey of Plastics to the Ocean

The Journey of Plastics to the Ocean: An introduction to how plastics become ocean plastics including the common pathways for plastics to reach the ocean.

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Free
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104 – LESSON 4: Why is Plastic Pollution a Problem?

The Ocean Plastics Pollution Problem: An introduction to why ocean plastics are an issue including its effects on people and the planet.

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Free
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105 – LESSON 5: Creating a Circular Economy for Plastics

Circular Economy 101: An introduction to the concept of a circular economy and how it could help resolve the ocean plastics pollution issue.

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Want to Learn More?

Want to learn more once you’ve finished Level 1? Take our advanced lesson material Level 2: Lessons 6-10. In these lessons you will learn:

  • How ocean plastics are different than land-based plastics.
  • How to build an ocean plastics recycling system.
  • How to encourage behaviour changes that help prevent and clean-up ocean plastics.
  • What policies are being used globally to prevent and clean-up ocean plastics.
  • How to advocate for policy changes in your community.
advanced

LEVEL 2
ADVANCED LEARNING: TAKE ACTION ON OCEAN PLASTICS 206 - 210

Free
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206 – LESSON 6: Ocean Plastics 201: A Deeper Dive

Ocean Plastics 201: An introduction to ocean plastics and what makes them different than plastics collected through source separated land-based programs. This includes sources of the plastics, contamination, sorting, management, and processing.

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Free
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207 – LESSON 7: Moving to Action – Encouraging Behaviour Change

Encouraging Behavioural Changes: An overview of how to encourage and enable behavioural changes that would work towards preventing and collecting ocean plastics, and encourage people to ‘join the ocean plastics cause’.

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Free
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208 – LESSON 8: Taking Action, Creating A Plastics Recycling System

Recycling System Planning: An overview of how to set up a recycling system for ocean plastics prevention and management: essentially a “Master Recycler’ course aimed at anyone who seeks to collect or process plastics or ocean plastics.

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Free
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209 – LESSON 9: Using Policy to Make a Difference

How to Use Policies to Affect Change: An overview of the kinds of policies that exist that could stem the flow of ocean plastics into the environment (e.g., extended producer responsibility, deposit return systems, green procurement, funding tools).

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Free
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210 – LESSON 10: Advocating for Change

How to Advocate for Change: An overview of ‘how to advocate for change’ (e.g., in policies or actions), using Canada as the example location for that advocacy.

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