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CRS students investigate plastic ocean waste

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In a new project this year, 5th graders at Charles River School explored the impact that plastics have on oceans. They began by collecting and sorting plastic that they encountered at snack and lunch; in just 16 days, they collected 700 plastics like snack wrappers, cups, and silverware.

As one student said, “To truly do a project about plastic waste in the ocean, we needed to have some plastic waste from the ocean.” The class trekked to Revere Beach for a full-day field trip dedicated to beach clean-up. In spite of the cold, windy, wet weather, the intrepid students and faculty collected many bags of trash and even found a “microplastic jackpot.” Using their plastic waste, students created two mosaics in art class – a sea turtle and a fish.

5th graders presented their project at a school assembly and shared facts like these with fellow students: More than 100 million marine animals die every year due to plastic; more than half of the world’s sea turtles have ingested plastic; plastic can block sea creatures digestive tracts which can lead to starvation and death. To see fun a slideshow of the 5th grade’s work throughout this project, visit

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