School children take note of natural environment

A Taynuilt Primary School pupil gets to grips with some unwanted ocean plastic.

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he children get to work in the classroom.

Children from Taynuilt and Kilchrenan primary schools have  been getting creative in order to raise awareness of microplastic pollution in the world’s oceans.

The children teamed up with artist-led design studio Crùbag and the Scottish Association for Marine Science to design and produce a sustainable notebook collection called Our Plastic Oceans.

Launched last Thursday June 11, the colourful creations are a collective effort of art, science education, and action that aims to bring awareness to the imminent issue of microplastic pollution, and explore the children’s vision of the oceans’ future.

‘We wanted to communicate a message about what people are doing to the environment in relation to plastic pollution in our oceans,’ commented one of the primary six and seven children.


The designs were printed on organic cotton.

Jessica Giannotti, founder of the Dunbeg-based design company, invited Renuka Ramanujam, a material and textile designer with, a keen interest in bio-based design, to join the project and co-run the creative workshops.

The pupils then illustrated and created a collage of their own stunning artworks using organic cotton, depicting microplastic fragments in our seas, the marine life that are faced with them and how we as humans continue to impact the eco-system.

‘Renuka and I were already co-designing our new textile collection
inspired by microplastics in the ocean in collaboration with SAMS scientists Bhavani Narayanaswamy and Lola Paradinas,’ said Jessica.

‘Teacher Jenny Love approached us to work with Taynuilt Primary School and I was really excited and moved by her passion and interest in helping her pupils gain a deeper understanding of science and a more personal connection with the natural environment.

One of the finished notebooks.

Crùbag organised visits to the marine laboratories and ran a series of art and microplastic science workshops, allowing the children to go deeper into the subject and express their views and feelings through creation.

‘The children’s understanding of the current environmental issues and potential future scenarios was deeply moving and a wake up call for all of us,’ added Jessica.

In order that the children could get really hands on in the science school, science coordinator Jenny Love applied to the Royal Society for a partnership grant, together with Bhavani of SAMS, to enable the school to purchase high-quality equipment to help in the sampling of our shoreline.

She then approached Crùbag to see if they could help teach the children printing techniques and how to use art and fashion to inspire change.

‘The response has been beyond our wildest dreams,’ she said.

‘The pupils were enthused and engaged and produced some beautiful and moving artwork with a powerful message.

The notebooks are currently for sale on the Crùbag website,, and from each notebook purchased, £5 is donated to Taynuilt Primary School.