Grade level: 5 – 6th grades
Skills: Multiplication and Division
Related environmental issues: Plastic Waste
A whale was found dead on the Murcian coast in southern Spain in late February after swallowing 64 pounds of plastic waste.
Most plastic grocery bags are thrown away after being used, and millions of tons of plastic bags end up in the ocean. Those plastic bags have killed marine birds and turtles that confused plastic bags for jellyfish and plankton. The amount of plastic waste found in the ocean in a year is equivalent to five plastic grocery bags for every foot of coastline in the world.
- How many grocery bags are found in 1 mile of coastline in a year? (1mile = 5,280 feet)
- How many grocery bags are found in 1 mile of coastline in a month?
- Every month, 25 volunteers gather at their 1-mile beach to pick up plastic waste. How many grocery bags does each volunteer need to pick up to clean their beach?
- 4.It is reported that the amount of plastic waste will double by 2025. How many grocery bags will be found in 1 mile of coastline in a year of 2025?
Source) New York Times, February 12, 2015. Study Finds Rising Levels of Plastics in Oceans
- 26,400 bags (5,280 x 5 = 26,400)
- 2,200 bags (26,400 ÷ 12 = 2,200
- 88 bags (2,200 ÷ 25 = 88)
- 52,800 bags (26,400 x 2 = 52,000)