'We're creating our own plastic nightmare'

Grace M admiring Empire Vale Public School's art sculpture made from reused recess packaging.
Grace M admiring Empire Vale Public School's art sculpture made from reused recess packaging. Contributed

KIDS from eight schools have created a giant recycled prawn, life-size baby whale and other sea creatures for the Ballina Prawn Festival to raise awareness of water pollution and plastic.

Empire Vale Public School teacher, Karen Rantissi, said it was an important issue to teach kids, particularly in the Northern Rivers region.

"We live by the beaches, the waterways ... we want to bring awareness of the dangers of plastic," she said.

"As soon as you scratch the surface of that issue it's really ugly ... we're creating our own nightmare."

Some of the artworks the students have created include a rainbow fish created by Broadwater Public School, a pelican by Wardell students, a life-size baby whale by Wyrallah, bleached coral by Rous, a turtle by Cabbage Tree Island and jellyfish by Empire Vale.

"Besides the art installation, we will also have 'Did You Know?' information signs that explain how plastic affects our sea life and provide useful advice on how you can make a difference," Mrs Rantissi said.

She said all of the students got on board with the project, bringing in bags of rubbish to reuse, going as far as cleaning up litter from our waterways and collecting their recess food packaging to create the creatures.

"We cut up chip packets and other packaging into (small) circles for scales ... there was enough packaging to cover two large fish," Mrs Rantissi said.

The eight schools involved were Empire Vale, Wyrallah, Rous, Tregeagle, Cabbage Tree Island, Broadwater, Wardell and Fernleigh public schools.

They form the Southern Cross Community of Small Schools.

LightnUp Inc helped the students create frames for their creatures.

Topics:  ballina prawn festival education recycling schools water pollution

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