10 Awesomely Amazing recycling heroes!

Whizz Pop Bang magazine recycling heroes

Big shout out to our 10 Awesomely Amazing recycling heroes in our RUBBISH SCIENCE issue!

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1. Melati and Isabel Wijsen who set up Bye Bye Plastic Bags
2. Sammie Vance with her recycled plastic buddy benches
3. Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu who set up soleRebels designing shoes from old tyres
4. Ryan Hickman, age 9 runs his own recycling company
5. Aaron Westbrook 3D prints prosthetic limbs from recycled plastic
6. Anna Bullus who set up Gumdrop ltd making shoes with pink soles from recycled gum
7. Esther Bird campaigned to stop single-use plastics being used at her school
8. Julia Bray, Ashton Cofer and Luke and Natalie Clay converted styrofoam cups into activated carbon
9. Zymal Umer set up Zee Bags to make gift bags from recycled newspaper
10. Amy and Ella Meek from Kids Against Plastic campaign to help families, cafes and councils to be ‘Plastic Clever’

So inspiring to see so many kids taking the initiative, the future’s looking greener everyone! 👍🏽

AIR POLLUTION: An invisible threat

Whizz Pop Bang air pollution feature

How can science help? In this article we help children understand what causes air pollution, and how we as individuals can help to improve air quality. This article was featured in the SMALL WONDER issue of Whizz Pop Bang science magazine for kids, to buy this issue visit our online shop.

Whizz Pop Bang eco policy

Whizz Pop Bang magazine Eco hero icon

As an educational magazine focusing on science, we take our environmental responsibility very seriously. We’re a small independent publisher, which means we have control at each stage of the process – from design to production, through to distribution. We don’t sell to newsstands, high street shops or supermarkets, so we never sell on a sale or return basis (where often, only the cover would be returned and the rest of the magazine is destroyed). Extra copies are held in stock here at WPB HQ, to be sold as back issues. We sometimes receive magazines from the printers which have been slightly damaged in transit, so we donate these to breakfast clubs in deprived areas and hospices for children who are too poorly to go to school.

Every month we report on environmental issues in the news, highlighting eco heroes and how children and their families can help reduce their environmental impact. We have a regular feature called Emmi’s Eco Club, exploring environmental issues in a fun and creative way, encouraging our young readers to be proactive in reducing, re-using and recycling. We are also very careful about the items required for our experiments, which will be inexpensive, household items. For example, we suggest using alternatives to plastic straws and encourage people to buy eco balloons.

Whizz Pop Bang magazines are printed in the UK, using only paper from FSC/PEFC certified suppliers. Our magazines are delivered in paper envelopes, which can be recycled.

Are you looking for ways to help your children learn more about how they can be more environmentally friendly? Read on!

We’re huge fans of Kids Against Plastic, a campaign set-up by sisters Amy and Ella Meek, aged 15 and 13. These two are amazing, their drive and determination to change people’s behaviour is so inspiring!

“Not long ago we came across the UN’s Global Goals and got inspired to do our bit for the planet, and after finding out about the negative effect single-use plastic is having on the environment, we launched the Kids Against Plastic campaign.”

They have three key aims to help people avoid single-use plastics through EDUCATION (learning) and ACTION (doing):

  • Raise awareness and understanding of the problems caused by plastic misuse
  • Encourage and support others to become ‘Plastic Clever’ and reduce single-use plastics
  • Empower children and young people to believe they can make a difference

Follow Amy and Ella and find out what they’re doing to help us reduce our reliance on single-use plastics.

World Oceans Day book competition!

World Oceans Day competition

To celebrate World Oceans Day 2018 we’ve teamed up with the lovely team at Ivy Kids publishing with a cool book giveaway; Oceans in 30 Seconds, by Jen Green.
To enter this competition to win a copy simply answer this question in the comment box below:
Which of these is the deepest zone of the ocean?
a) Ladel zone
b) Hadal zone
c) Cradle zone
Enter by midnight on Monday 11th June 2018. Thanks to #IvyKids @QuartoKids for supplying five copies of this children’s book all about our oceans. By entering this competition you agree to the terms and conditions on our website.
Love learning about the sea? Buy this issue of Whizz Pop Bang for just £3.75 and learn all about the Secrets of the Deep!

Whizz Pop Bang Secrets of the Deep

Whizz Pop Bang logo round

Whizz Pop Bang magazine competition to WIN a pack of eco straws!

Whizz Pop Bang Eco straw giveaway

Following on from our #LastStraw survey we’ve got some super cool eco straws to giveaway! Ditch the plastic – reusable and biodegradeable straws are the future!

The UK is easily the biggest user of plastic straws in Europe, with an estimated 8.5 billion thrown away each year, according to a study by Eunomia Research & Consulting. This compares with 4.8 billion in Germany, 3.2 billion in France, 2 billion in Italy and 1.1 billion in Denmark.

TO ENTER our giveaway, write the shocking number of plastic straws that are thrown away in the UK each year in the comment box below ??

Closing date is 10th March 2018. Thanks to Seraphina’s Kitchen, Little Cherry and Bambaw for supplying these awesome eco straws.

 

What are the alternatives to plastic straws?

We’ve rounded up some environmentally friendly choices of straw to have at home or to whip out of your bag next time you’re out and about!

Bamboo strawsBambaw_ecofriendly_alternatives_to_plastic_straws

These are reusable, biodegradable drinking straws, made from whole bamboo, which is an easy to grow, sustainable crop. These eco-friendly straws can be used in hot and cold drinks and they don’t taste of anything. Available from Bambaw in packs of 12, and every pack comes with a cleaning brush. Enter our giveaway to win a pack of Bambaw straws!

Metal strawsSenhai_metal_straws

Senhai sell a set of eight stainless steel metal straws (available with a bend for those who want an angle in their straws!). They come in different colours, with a two cleaning brushes in a cloth bag, and are dishwasher proof.

Glass strawsStrawGrace_ecofriendly_alternatives_to_plastic_straws

 

 

 

 

 

StrawGrace sell handmade, incredibly hardy glass straws that come in packs of five. These cool straws are BPA free, eco-friendly, dishwasher safe and shatterproof. Each packet comes with a year’s guarantee – this is the same glass that’s used in labs all over the world and in Pyrex dishes so it’s safe and strong.

Silicon straws

Seraphinas kitchen_ecofriendly_alternatives_to_plastic_straws

Seraphina’s Kitchen make reusable coloured straws from silicone in two different sizes; one for juices and a larger one for smoothies. They’re all BPA free, lead and phthalates free and you can clean them with the brush that comes with each pack, or put them in the dishwasher. Enter our giveaway to win a pack of Seraphina’s silicone straws!

Paper straws

little cherry paper straws

If you’re after colourful fun paper straws for your child’s party check out Little Cherry Eco Party Supplies, so many styles, designs and colours to choose from! This is most definitely your one-stop shop for all things party ware, get your party rocking eco style with all their environmentally-friendly tableware. Enter our giveaway to win a pack of Little Cherry paper straws!

 

Vegware PLA Straws

vegware-straws

How about a bioplastic alternative?  Vegware PLA Straws are made from corn that would otherwise go to waste. Its proper name is polylactic acid (PLA) and it’s used by Vegware to manufacture drinking straws, as well as other utensils and coffee cups. While plastic straws take between 100 and 1,000 years to break down in landfill, conventional enzyme action is enough to decompose PLA straws in under 12 weeks, so they can go in your bin with the rest of your food waste.

TO ENTER our giveaway, write the shocking number of plastic straws that are thrown away in the UK each year in the comment box below ??

Seraphinas kitchen_ecofriendly_alternatives_to_plastic_straws

#LastStraw What do Whizz Pop Bang readers think?

Evening Standard Last Straw campaign

After reading about the London Evening Standard’s excellent #LastStraw campaign to encourage cafés and restaurants to stop giving out plastic straws, we thought it would be interesting to find out what children thought about receiving their drinks with straws.

Whizz Pop Bang is an awesome science magazine for inquisitive six to twelve-year-olds, so our readers and the children of our online fans were perfectly placed to answer a few questions about how they like to drink their drinks. This was obviously a subject that kids felt strongly about as we received over 1,600 responses. Here’s what we discovered…

Q1. Would you rather have a paper straw or no straw?

Would you rather have a paper straw or no straw?

The results are close with just over half (54%) of the children who answered our survey saying, yes, they would rather have a paper straw than no straw at all, showing that there’s still a fair amount of desire for paper straws over no straws.

Q2. If you like having a straw in your drink, please tell us why…

If you like having a straw in your drink please tell us why

What are the reasons people like having straws? There are many. Kids like to schlurp their drinks with a straw, blow bubbles and even make things with a straw (future engineers!). They’re certainly useful when you’re very young and the glass is too tall, or the ice is making the glass too cold to hold. Some just like sipping and stirring, and making their drink last longer. Any dentist will tell us it’s better for your teeth if you drink through a straw, and there are people who need to use a straw for medical or behavioural conditions such as autism. The overriding result however, with just over 30%, is that people like a straw because it’s a treat when they go out.

Q3. If you were given a drink without a straw, would you ask for one?

If you were given a drink without a straw would you ask for one

The results here are interesting, with only 27% of respondents saying that they would proactively ask for a straw if their drink didn’t come with one. This means that the majority of children wouldn’t mind if establishments simply changed their policies to stop routinely providing straws in drinks. This could cut down straw use by a whopping 73%. And the cost savings from that could be put towards purchasing more environmentally friendly straws for the children who would like them.

Straws: the statistics

The UK is easily the biggest user of plastic straws in Europe, with an estimated 8.5 billion thrown away each year, according to a study by Eunomia Research & Consulting. This compares with 4.8 billion in Germany, 3.2 billion in France, 2 billion in Italy and 1.1 billion in Denmark.

Several small towns and villages around Britain have declared themselves plastic straw-free, but an initiative in the capital could act as a catalyst for the whole nation.

Evening Standard, Monday 15th January

Time to act everyone! As parents, grandparents and carers who take children out for drinks, we are the ones who need to be making the decisions and paving the way. Together we need to educate our children and teach them to understand why we need to find alternatives to many types of plastic, not just straws. We also need to use our buying power and our voices to tell cafés and restaurants what we think – simply make a point of requesting no plastic straws when you place your drinks order and explain why.

What are the alternatives to plastic straws?

We’ve rounded up some environmentally friendly choices of straw to have at home or to whip out of your bag next time you’re out and about!

Bamboo strawsBambaw_ecofriendly_alternatives_to_plastic_straws

These are reusable, biodegradable drinking straws, made from whole bamboo, which is an easy to grow, sustainable crop. These eco-friendly straws can be used in hot and cold drinks and they don’t taste of anything. Available from Bambaw in packs of 12, and every pack comes with a cleaning brush.

Metal strawsSenhai_metal_straws

Senhai sell a set of eight stainless steel metal straws (available with a bend for those who want an angle in their straws!). They come in different colours, with a two cleaning brushes in a cloth bag, and are dishwasher proof.

Glass strawsStrawGrace_ecofriendly_alternatives_to_plastic_straws

 

 

 

 

 

StrawGrace sell handmade, incredibly hardy glass straws that come in packs of five. These cool straws are BPA free, eco-friendly, dishwasher safe and shatterproof. Each packet comes with a year’s guarantee – this is the same glass that’s used in labs all over the world and in Pyrex dishes so it’s safe and strong.

Silicon straws

Seraphinas kitchen_ecofriendly_alternatives_to_plastic_straws

Seraphina’s Kitchen make reusable coloured straws from silicone in two different sizes; one for juices and a larger one for smoothies. They’re all BPA free, lead and phthalates free and you can clean them with the brush that comes with each pack, or put them in the dishwasher. A pack of 6 silicone straws is £12.47 from Buy Me Once

Paper straws

Kikkerland_ecofriendly_alternatives_to_plastic_straws

Kikkerland make loads of fun coloured and patterned paper straws, which makes a cheap and planet-friendly alternative to plastic straws at a party. The inks are soy based and food safe, the paper is biodegradable and coated with beeswax.

Vegware PLA Straws

vegware-straws

How about a bioplastic alternative?  Vegware PLA Straws are made from corn that would otherwise go to waste. Its proper name is polylactic acid (PLA) and it’s used by Vegware to manufacture drinking straws, as well as other utensils and coffee cups. While plastic straws take between 100 and 1,000 years to break down in landfill, conventional enzyme action is enough to decompose PLA straws in under 12 weeks, so they can go in your bin with the rest of your food waste.

 

In summary

The results of our survey show that whilst the majority of children feel okay about not using straws at all, there’s still a desire for straws, and hence a need for alternatives to plastic straws. Whether it’s as a treat in a special drink or because of less frivolous reasons such as age or health, there is a demand for a way to drink a drink without having to lift or touch the cup or glass.

The good news is that far fewer straws are needed in the first place, because the vast majority of children wouldn’t request a straw if their drink didn’t have one. That means savings for cafés and restaurants and more importantly, savings for the environment.

Paper straws might make the most sense in cafés because they’re cheap and hygienic. Restaurants and bars might go for more durable straws such as glass or metal, depending on their budgets and style preference. Silicone, bamboo, metal and paper straws are ideal for home use, birthday parties and people who want to take them out and about as an alternative to plastic straws.

Thank you to everyone who answered the questions in our survey. We’re off to add some eco-friendly straws to our shopping list – slurp!