YOUNG visitors to a North East shopping centre have been learning about the dangers of plastic waste.

As part of the Bank Holiday entertainment at the Bridges, Sunderland, youngsters who visited the centre’s indoor beach were given a lesson on plastic pollution in a fun environment.

The indoor beach has been in place throughout the whole summer holiday and has offered a host of events to keep youngsters amused, with workshops, storytelling and entertainment.

And centre chiefs decided to use the opportunity to raise awareness of plastic waste and the damage it is doing to oceans and beaches across the globe.

“With so much in the news about plastic waste in our oceans, we felt our own beach would be the perfect place to spread the word to our little beach goers,” said Samantha Czwordon-Auld, the centre’s marketing and communications manager.

“Plastic pollution is a very important issue which is having a global impact and as a city located by the sea, it’s something we need to be looking at so we can all help make a difference.”

The Bridges team commissioned local theatre group, Theatre Space, to deliver an interactive entertainment programme over the bank holiday weekend to help get the message across.

This included a short play about a man who dropped litter on a beach and a turtle which got caught up in the rubbish, along with storytelling sessions where youngsters heard about other animals affected by beach litter.

The children were also taught how to recognise common plastics and how to recycle them, culminating in a beach clean-up and certificate presentation.

“The event proved to be very popular and I think we definitely got the message across to a lot of young people about how serious this issue is,” added Sam.

“Doing this in a fun and informative way helps young people adopt good habits which hopefully will last a lifetime.

“Everyone who took part seemed to have great fun and hopefully the children went away having learned something important which they can use to help safeguard the future of our environment.”

The indoor beach was will be open daily until Sunday 2 September.

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