All designers will know the feeling. Seeing something that is so elegant in thought, so refined in execution and so fitting a cause that you let out a small sigh of ‘ah… I wish I’d designed that’. And so it was when we happened upon the new Pollutoys from marine conservation society Sea Shepherd.
With marine plastic harming or killing an estimated 1 million mammals, fish and seabirds per year around the globe, as well as clearing up what is already in there, it is essential that we stop it at source.
Leading beach cleans as part of our Surfers Against Sewage duties here in Brighton, we know that children often understand the issue very quickly and very clearly. They ask the obvious questions that no adult dare ask, and they just get it – for instance – ‘Why would someone just leave their rubbish on the beach – are they lazy’? Well. Quite.
By educating children in the issues of marine plastic and litter, we are empowering a new generation understanding that action is needed. Plus, research has shown that children learn better through play, so Sea Shepherd have teamed up with toy designer Andrea Vida to created ‘Pollutoys’ – a series of marine plushies to teach children aged 2-5 of the issues.
Completed with educational cards, the plushies such as Mark the Shark, Willy the Whale and Darla the Dolphin soon get the messages across with their sad faces and bellies full of ‘plastic’.
At the moment, these are just educational tools, but it would be great to see these in toy stores around the world – spreading this important message to kids everywhere.
(images via Pollutoys)