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Tasks: Marine Plastics

Plastic bottles and other garbage washed up on a beach in the county of Cork, Ireland.
Åpne bilde i et nytt vindu

Role play

In groups of 5, you are going to plan and carry out a panel discussion where the topic will be 'The consequences of marine plastics and microplastics'. Divide the roles among yourselves before you prepare for the debate. Remember: You have to know what you are talking about! Gather information, facts, and good examples before the debate.


Host: Your job is to prepare good questions that will shed light on this challenging problem. Make sure that you have questions for all participants and prepare for follow up questions. A good host knows the topic that is being discussed, so make sure you have a good understanding of the problem.

Marine biologist: You are an expert on marine life. You have seen how plastic affects seals, whales, fish and turtles, and you are able to present relevant statistics and numbers proving how detrimental plastic is for the marine environment. Share your knowledge and give examples.

Politician: You see the need for a political change and would like to help to solve the problem, but you also see that there is a financial side to the issue. Explain what could be done politically in order to improve the situation. You have studied the efforts of other countries and you reflect on which measures would be most successful in Norway.

Activist: You work in an environmental organisation. You have often spent time cleaning up shorelines, and have been in charge of many beach clean-ups in your community. You strongly believe in the slogan 'Think globally, act globally'. Share your experiences and reflections with the audience.

Engineer and inventor: Being an engineer, you have several good ideas about how technology can help solve the problem of marine plastics. You also know about different technological innovations from other countries that might reduce the problem. Share your knowledge and ideas.


Write an essay in which you discuss different measures that we should take to solve the problem of marine plastics. Include changes that could be made on a global, national and individual level (change in lifestyle, political measures, economic investments, technological innovations, etc.)

Give your essay a suitable title.


  1. Go through your wardrobe and your bathroom cabinet and find out if you have many products containing microplastics. In your wardrobe, look for clothes made of synthetic materials (polyester, nylon, acrylic, polyamide). In your bathroom cabinet, look for anything which has been labelled polyethylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polymethyl methacrylate or polypropolene. Make a list and compare with the rest of the class.
  2. Five countries in Asia (China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand) are estimated to account for about 60% of the plastic waste entering the ocean. Find out what is happening in these countries. Are measures being introduced? If so', when? And what kind of measures?
  3. Many countries around the world have made an effort to reduce, or even eliminate, the number of plastic bags used by shoppers, while other countries are more lenient. Using various internet resources, find out what measures have been introduced in the following countries, and whether or not it can be deemed a success:
  • Kenya
  • England
  • Israel
  • USA


When you have watched the film The Beauty, answer the questions below. Write down your answers.

  1. What is the theme of the film?

  2. What is the message of the film?

  3. How is contrast used in the film?

  4. How is humour used in the film?

Relatert innhold

An article about the detrimental effects of marine plastics on the environment, wildlife and humans.

CC BY-SASkrevet av Karin Søvik.
Sist faglig oppdatert 05.10.2020


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