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Need to Know

National Geographic Takes "Planet or Plastic?" Back to School

National Geographic Kids and National Geographic Education team up to offer ways to help families go single-use plastic free as they kick off the new school year.

As the amount of plastic in the ocean continues to grow, National Geographic asks kids and families to join them in tackling the pressing plastic problem as they head back to school.

Launched in May, National Geographic's “Planet or Plastic?” campaign—a multiyear initiative aimed at raising awareness of this challenge and reducing the amount of single-use plastic that enters the world's oceans—has already made headlines in asking consumers to make a choice: Choose the planet over single-use plastic. Now, with the launch of  “Kids vs. Plastic, a Tackling Plastic! GeoChallenge” and a special September Explorer Classroom program, National Geographic is asking kids to join the effort.

National Geographic Kids and National Geographic Education have teamed up to offer a variety of ways for families to make a dent in the more than 8 million tons of plastic that end up in the ocean each year.

Kids and parents can learn more about the plastic pollution problem and begin making changes with:

  • A kid-friendly pledge to reduce their plastic footprint
  • A back-to-school toolkit
  • The Plastics Quiz Whiz and the Save the Earth Personality Quiz
  • An interactive Recycle Roundup Game
  • A make-your-own-lunch-bags craft (no more plastic bags needed!), with additional Nat Geo craft challenges coming
  • 10 simple tips for families

Students also are invited to team up with classmates around the country for the 2018 GeoChallenge: "Tackling Plastic!" Students can sign up to collaborate, research and come up with real-world solutions to today's plastic waste problem, with guidance from National Geographic Explorer Kakani Katija.

Additionally, National Geographic Education is dedicating its September theme of the Explorer Classroom program to "Ocean Plastics." Through Explorer Classroom, students from around the world will connect digitally with the National Geographic Explorers on the front lines of the ocean plastic issue. Students will learn about the explorers' work, ask questions and find out how they can help.

By joining the “Planet or Plastic?” effort, kids and families play an important role in reducing the plastic pollution that marine animals ingest or become suffocated by or entangled in. By reducing the amount of single-use plastic they are taking back to school, kids also will be actively contributing to a healthier planet and investing in their own futures.

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