Elliott Heads State School students popped on their ‘plastic detective hats' and spent Wednesday morning scouring Elliott Heads Beach for tiny fragments of plastic.
With eagle eyes the students enjoyed their end of term reward day by the beachside helping Burnett Mary Regional Group (BMRG) protect the local environment by collecting microplastic.
Elliott Heads State School Year 6 student Jamieson Meek said through their studies at school they had learned about the damage microplastic could cause to the local environment and sea life.
“Microplastics are plastics that have been broken down into really small pieces and they are bad for the environment,” Jamieson said.
“You are most likely to find them at a beach and it is bad for all the animals.
“Birds, turtles and fish eat the plastic and that’s really bad for them.”
Jamieson said he enjoyed the day at the beach with his school friends and he said collecting microplastic to help the environment was a bonus.
“It’s very important and I am hoping we find a lot of microplastic, so we can clean up the beach as most of us are locals to this area,” he said.
“My family and me are always down the beach and I always make sure I take some microplastic home with me.”
Year 4 student Noah Henry said learning from a young age would benefit future generations.
“They are really bad for the environment, and fish eat them and then die,” Noah said.
“This can destroy our world and it’s really important for young people to know to act fast to help the environment.”
Year 4-5 teacher David Theobald said the end of term activity was a highlight of the students’ calendar and they were eager to help clean up the foreshore at Elliott Heads.
As a Reef Guardian school, David said the students were environmentally minded and they all did their part to help protect the local ecosystem.
“We’ve been learning about microplastics at school and the students are already collecting it to help the environment,” he said.
“The kids learn about the impact it has on the area and how to prevent plastic from ending up in our ocean.”
David said it was fantastic to collaborate with BMRG for the end of term reward day.
BMRG’s Rachela Mura said after a successful beach clean-up by the Burnett Heads State School in February, they were excited to get the Elliot Heads State School students involved in sifting out dangerous microplastics as part of turtle protection efforts in the area.
“The fact that these kids are already environmentally aware is terrific,” she said.
“They've popped on their plastic detective hats to help our environment.
“This is just another way they are doing their bit to clean the beaches to help protect our marine life.
“What we really want is for them to take away from this that when they visit the local beaches, not to just look at the natural things, but to also pick up some microplastic.
“The kids have really good ideas on how to help the environment and in the end the best way to stop microplastic is to stop using plastic.”
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