All aboard the Potteries Museum to discover more about plastic pollution

Visitors to the Potteries Museum are being invited to squeeze inside the belly of a giant inflatable whale to learn about the plastic pollution

Make Plastic History poster with an illustration of a sea turtle

Free family event Make Plastic History takes place from 10am to 5pm on Saturday 20 April

We are incredibly excited to welcome people from across Staffordshire to learn about plastic pollution and what you can do to help in fun and creative ways.

Claire Gwinnett, Professor in Forensic and Environmental Science

The fun learning activity is part of a day long Make Plastic History event, co-organised by world renowned microplastic expert Claire Gwinnett, a Professor in Forensic and Environmental Science at Staffordshire University.

‘The Whale’ is an oceanic story telling experience by theatre group Larger Than Life using puppets and music to bring plastic pollution to life.

Taking place on Saturday 20 April, visitors of all ages can also take part in a range of family friendly activities including microplastic science experiments, an archaeological dig for plastic and making and crafting using recycled plastic waste.

Professor Gwinnett said: “We are incredibly excited to welcome people from across Staffordshire to learn about plastic pollution and what you can do to help in fun and creative ways.”

“These hands-on activities are designed to be a positive and educational experience for families; devoid of guilt and instead celebrating human ingenuity and brilliance in designing and creating objects, products and solutions in industry and using the same ingenuity to now solve the plastic waste problem.”

There will also be the opportunity to contribute to a community arts project made of salvaged plastics that will be exhibited in the museum’s secret garden. Other activities include eco glitter face painting and quizzes including plastic pollution bingo.

Make Plastic History takes place Saturday 20 April 2024, from 10am to 5pm, at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Bethesda Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 3DW.


🌊 Dive into the adventure!
Head inside our Interactive Whale for an oceanic story telling theatre experience that brings plastic pollution to life, featuring talented actors and singers.

🕵️‍♀️ Archaeological dig for plastic
Embark on an archaeological dig at the PMAG sand pits! Use shovels and sieves to excavate plastic artifacts and completing a 'bingo' list for stickers.

🐜 Create your own creature
Unleash your creativity at Creature Creations! Recycle plastic waste into clay bugs and let your imagination soar.

🔍 Original function challenge
Test your skills in "Guess the Original Function" and discover the hidden stories behind various plastic items.

🎨 Ocean bauble crafting
Participate in our citizen science challenge, by creating ocean-themed baubles from cleaned microplastics collected from UK beaches.

👕 Microplastics science experiment
Unravel the secrets of microplastic fibres from your clothes by shaking your way through our interactive Science experiment.

Eco glitter face painting
Get glamorous with eco glitter face painting! Transform yourself while learning about glitter and its connection to microplastics.

🧩 Puzzle retreat
Relax in our puzzle zone, solving paper-based puzzles related to animals, plastic pollution, and recycling. Complete at least one puzzle to earn a sticker.

🥤 Sustainable straw showdown
Dive into the world of sustainable straws! Guess materials, explore their sustainability, and pick your favourite. Try it out with a refreshing drink from the café.

🗺️ Plastic alternatives treasure hunt
Embark on a historical journey! Follow the treasure map to discover alternatives to plastic used throughout the ages.

📝 Creative writing and poetry corner
Engage in discussions, receive feedback, or try a writing exercise exploring plastic pollution at our Creative writing and poetry station.

🦴 Fossil exploration
Unearth the past with Carboniferous fossils! Museum educators will showcase real fossils, explaining their significance in industrial history and the origins of coal and oil used to make plastic.


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