Baltic Approaches to Handling Plastic Pollution under a Circular Economy Context

Students Learn about Plastic and its Impacts on the Environment

23 April 2024
Technical details

On Tuesday, 9 April, 1st year students of the Valmiera School of Design and Art received training on plastic and its impact on the environment and human health. The training was led by Irina Paegle and Agnese Meija-Toropova, environmental experts from the Baltic Environmental Forum Latvia.

As an introduction to the training, students listened to a presentation by experts on plastics, their types, production and the huge volumes consumed, much of which ends up in landfills and in the environment, especially in the oceans and seas. Students also learned about the different additives added to plastics to improve their properties. It was both interesting and frightening to hear about the negative effects of plastics and the substances they contain on human health and the health of fish and other animals.

Although the invention and use of plastics has made people’s daily lives easier, they are often used recklessly and wastefully. The aim of the lesson was to motivate students to think about the use of plastics in their daily lives and to consider how they could reduce or avoid their use.

The training ended with a practical exercise – students had to identify the types of plastic used for different items.

Over the next week, students will separate their daily plastic waste in two classrooms. The collected plastic waste and its quantity will then be analysed using a special plastic inventory tool. One of tasks will be to set targets to reduce the amount of waste that students produce. As new habits are introduced, plastic waste will be measured again to compare whether the solutions implemented daily have helped to reduce the amount of plastic consumed.