Eco-plastic Detective

The Eco-plastic Detective project, supported by the Cultural Hub, aimed to encourage children to learn about sustainability in plastics, and to be curious about the green credentials of plastic packaging.


Eco-plastic Detective poster - illustration by Martin Brown

Using teaching aids consisting of all kinds of plastic packaging that we encounter in our daily lives, classes (years 1-5) from a range of local schools turned detective and embarked on an adventure to find out what types of plastics are used for packaging, and what these can be recycled into.

Leading on from this activity, the children were introduced to objects from MoDiP’s handling collection that were chosen in conjunction with an exhibition called “Revolution: environmentally conscious design in plastics’. Each plastic object was subjected to an enquiry to decide if it was environmentally innocent ie recycled, upcycled, biodegradable or non-oil derived or guilty. They were all innocent!


The third activity was carried out both in the museum and the classroom (with access to the website and online collection) as it involved exploration of the exhibition Revolution: environmentally conscious design in plastics. An I-SPY style game got children spotting various museum objects from a list, learning about their eco-credentials and then ticking them off as ‘found’.

Two artist led days, finished off the project with the creation of two highly decorated recycling bins as well as two very large collages representing water bottles. Objects from the handling collection were used to introduce these workshops, to reinforce the eco-plastic message. Marine creatures were then created by the children to be placed swimming inside a giant plastic water bottle, symbolising the effect that not recycling your single-use plastic packaging can have on our oceans.   More marine creatures were created to decorate the sides of two recycling bins, showing a clean and happy sea – as a consequence of the plastic packaging having been recycled.

The resources from this project can be downloaded below.