Plastic-Free for a Week Challenge

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In this challenge, students try to adopt as many plastic-free habits as possible.

Plastic-free for a Week Challenge

Grade level: K-3, 4-6

Learning Objectives:
– Examine habits that contribute to reliance on plastics
– Identify behaviour changes that decrease reliance on plastics

During this activity, students will:
– Discover ways to decrease their use of plastics
– Participate in a week-long challenge to adopt as many plastic-free habits as possible
– Discuss their experience and determine changes they can make in their daily lives beyond those from the challenge


  1. Using one of the additional resources below or any other resource, discuss the impact of plastic on the environment with your class.
  2. Explain to the class that there are things we can do to make a difference and one way is by taking on a plastic-free for a week challenge.
  3. Introduce the five plastic-free habits of this challenge.
  4. Distribute the handouts and explain how to fill them out.
  5. At the end of the week, collect all the handouts.
  6. Make a full class tally and talk about the results with the class.

Discussion Questions


  • Which habit was the most difficult for you?
  • Which other habits could we add to the challenge?
  • Why do you think it is difficult to use less plastic?


What can you do to help decrease the use of plastic?

Teacher Tips

Check in with the students daily to see how it is going and answer any questions

Additional Resources

To introduce the topic of plastics, Earth Rangers has a created an interactive quiz about plastics:

How long till it’s gone:

Earth Rangers’ Journey of a Plastic Bag information sheet gives more details about the environmental impact of plastic bags.

Video: The Problem with Ocean Plastic (Canada Geographic, 2020)

This short video can help introduce your students to the problem of plastics in the ocean.

Book: One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon (2015, Millbrook Press)

This inspirational illustrated storybook tells the true story of an initiative by women in the Gambia to recycle plastic bags. Supporting material can be found on the book’s website.

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