The reason why Ellington infant pupils created a 4.4m whale made of discarded plastic

Ellington infants and their 'plastic' whale which will be part of the parade

The idea to build a 4.4metre whale made entirely of empty plastic bottle, cartons and bags was prompted by a giant plastic waste display at Dreamland and the sad death of six whales whose corpses were found on a plastic strewn beach in

The whale was made by pupils at Ellington Infant School using two weeks’ worth of household plastic waste.

Some 61 youngsters contributed to the sculpture, which was on show as part of the parade at Ramsgate carnival yesterday (July 22).

Here Ellington infants teacher Chloe Ralph-Harding explains the project:

“Plastic is on the tip of everyone’s tongue! And the question that we keep asking ourselves is how we can reduce our use? This is Ellington Infant Reception classes’ journey.

“We decided to visit Dreamland as I had seen a leaflet about an artist, Daniel Webb who had collected plastic for a whole year and then displayed it in there on a giant mural (pictured below) . I thought this would excite our children to find out more. They were not disappointed. We were greeted by Dreamland’s education and community officer, Victoria, who was extremely welcoming and informative, she had even arranged for Daniel to be there in person to talk to the children about his mural.

Everyday Plastic’ was a large-scale image by Daniel Webb and photographer Ollie Harrop

“In the news the next day was the sad discovery of 6 whales that had been found dead on the beach full of plastic. We talked to our children about this and what we could do. Some of them understood but we wanted to make an impact so that they could talk about it to their parents and make a change in their lives. We decided to see just how much disposable plastic was being used in our homes and so asked for the children to bring in their plastic for one week. We were overwhelmed with the response.

Photo Adam Dark

“Each day we talked about how much we were using and how we could cut back. Using reusable drinking water bottles was the first quick change that we could make, and they did. Some parents commented about their children not wanting to use straws or other plastic items in their lunch boxes.

“Soon we were overcome with plastic. After the sad news of yet another whale being found dead on the beach full of plastic we decided to make a whale sculpture out of wire and fill it with the plastic that had been collected. With the help of a friend and local set designer Suzanne French and Debbie Scott, the other Reception teacher, this is our end result.

Ellington infants and their ‘plastic’ whale

“Daily we see more photos and hear more tales of our oceans being full of plastic that will remain there for years to come. Please try to do your bit for our beautiful world and think before you buy something in plastic. Recycle or reuse where possible.”