Bright Horizons: Eco-plastic Detectives

20 March 2024

Last week we had the pleasure of welcoming the Talbot Woods Bright Horizons Nursery group to explore the magic of plastics and benefits of recycling. Our program began with a tour of the library where the students were dazzled by the current library exhibit, Strange Nature: Costumes Inspired by Punch Magazine, and explored a variety of different textures in the Materials Library.

We then headed upstairs to the MoDiP gallery space where we discussed how plastics are made, the versatility of plastics, and how to prevent plastics from becoming problematic by recycling them into new materials and object.

The students were encouraged to interact with objects from our teaching collection that are made from a range of materials including bamboo, old milk jugs, a retired bouncy castle and even discarded bubble gum.

A sand shovel in the shape of a sting ray made from discarded bamboo sawdust.

"Ray" - A sand shovel in the shape of a Manta ray and made from recycled bamboo sawdust. AIBDC : 008195.2

Gum-tec Americano Mug : a double walled drinks beaker made from  Gum-tec (R) - a material composed of disposed chewing gum.

Gum-tec Americano Mug : A double walled drinks beaker made from Gum-Tec (R) - a material composed of disposed chewing gum. AIBDC: 007951

The primary group was then tasked with locating recycling symbols on plastic objects that they may have used previously or would recognize around their homes. They used a magnifying glass to locate the symbols and compared the differences in the symbols that they discovered. 

Eco-plastic Detectives programming with plastics objects and magnifying glasses.

We had a wonderful morning with this group and hope to be able to provide resources and programming to more student groups in the future. The Eco-plastic Detective grab box is also available to book for small groups outside of the museum – If you’re interested in booking this program please email us at

Shannon Carr, MoDiP Collections Officer