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Things We Love: Children’s Books About Stopping Plastic

This post has been updated for 2021 with even more great children’s books about plastic pollution and protecting our oceans! YOu can check out the original post here

Looking for a holiday gift for your little one that teaches and inspires them about how to tackle the plastic pollution problem? We’ve compiled a list of some of the best children’s books that address the issue of plastic pollution and protecting our oceans. These books are colorful, informative, and present an otherwise challenging topic in a light-hearted, age-appropriate way.  


The Adventures of Myrtle the Turtle by Julie Jakeman 

Come along on The Adventures of Myrtle the Turtle as she discovers the harm that plastic pollution causes to sea life and the importance of recycling. Readers will meet Myrtle’s new ocean friends as they all learn about plastic pollution and how to prevent it by reducing, reusing, and recycling. This book is filled with colorful ocean images and fun rhymes to engage young readers. 


This Class Can Save the Planet by Stacy Tornio

This Class Can Save the Planet shows students how they can help save the environment when they work together. This book offers simple ideas that can be implemented in their own classrooms right away. It’s also perfect for educators because it provides simple advice on sustainable, actionable classroom practices. This book is perfect for Earth Day, Earth Month, and anytime of the year to help students establish environmentally friendly habits. 

Plasticus Maritimus: An Invasive Species by Ana Pêgo

Inspired by author and marine biologist ​​Ana Pêgo’s life’s work, Plasticus Maritimus: An Invasive Species examines plastic pollution in the ocean and why it’s such an important issue. Pêgo explains how plastic can end up in rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans! As a fun twist on scientific field guides, Ana Pêgo describes plastic as a new species, Plasticus maritimus, and offers tips on how to identify the invasive species. She also offers solutions on how to combat plastic contamination and motivates young readers to get involved in environmentally friendly lifestyle changes. Plasticus Maritimus: An Invasive Species is geared towards readers 11 and older. 


A Planet Full of Plastic

by Neal Layton

Award-winning author-illustrator Neal Layton explains where plastic comes from, why it doesn’t biodegrade, and why that’s dangerous for animals and humans alike. But he’s also full of ideas for how you can help! From giving up straws to recycling to taking part in a beach cleanup, this book will get young readers excited about how they can make a difference to keep our planet clean. 


Let’s Investigate Plastic Pollution: On Land and in the Oceans

by Ruth Owen

This new title in the Get Started With STEM series gives young science enthusiasts all the information they need to investigate and do their part to help solve the plastic pollution problem. It is packed with facts; discussion topics; and imaginative ideas for activities, experiments, and investigations.



What a Waste: Trash, Recycling, and Protecting our Planet

by Jess French

This book will teach young ecologists how our actions affect the planet. Discover shocking facts about the waste we produce and where it goes. It also highlights plans already in motion to save our seas and how our waste can be turned into something useful. 


Saving Tally: An Adventure into the Great Pacific Plastic Patch

by Serena Lane Ferrari

Tally is a curious little turtle with a talent for getting into trouble. Her best friend Ara is a wise and strong lobster. The most dangerous part of the ocean is about to shock Tally and Ara and make them realize that their underwater world isn’t always so safe. Will they be able to escape the danger? This is an engaging book that addresses plastic pollution and how it impacts our oceans and sea life. It speaks directly to kids by showing what plastic pollution can do to wildlife and sea creatures.


Plastic, Ahoy!: Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

by Patricia Newman

For nearly three weeks at sea, researchers gathered bits of plastic and ocean organisms. These samples helped them learn more about the effects of plastic in the ocean. Follow along on the expedition to find out how scientists studied the Great Pacific Garbage Patch―where millions of pieces of plastic have collected—and what alarming discoveries they made.


Harry Saves The Ocean: Teaching Children about Sea Pollution and Recycling (Harry The Happy Mouse Book 5)

by N.G. K. and Sylva Fae

From the bestselling Harry The Happy Mouse children’s picture book series, join Harry and friends as they teach children about plastic pollution in the oceans. Harry stumbles across a whale that is in trouble. The whale then explains the growing problem of plastic pollution in our oceans, and Harry decides he needs to do something about it. This rhyming book not only explains plastic pollution as a problem but also explains how we can help by taking actions like recycling.


One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia

by Miranda Paul  

This is an inspiring true story of how one African woman began a movement to recycle the plastic bags that were polluting her community. In Njau, Gambia, people dropped bags and went on their way. The bags accumulated in ugly heaps alongside roads. Isatou Ceesay found a way to recycle the bags and transform her community. One Plastic Bag shows how one person’s actions really can make a difference in our world.


All the Way to the Ocean

by Joel Harper  

This is an uplifting story about two best friends and their discovery of the cause and effect relationship between our cities’ storm drains and the world’s oceans, lakes, and rivers. This book is sure to inspire readers that we can do our part to ensure a cleaner, safer environment.


Pesky Plastic: An Environmental Story

by Leticia Colon De Mejias

This is a fun educational book about plastic and its impact on our planet. Learn what you can do to help Sally, Allen, Pat, and all the sea animals survive “pesky plastic.” This ecology-centered story is a wonderful way to begin conversations with children about how each of our actions directly affects the environment. It aligns with National Education Science Standards (NSES).


1, 2, 3, Who’s Cleaning the Sea?: A Counting Picture Book About Protecting Our Planet

by Janina Rossiter

This beautifully created and hard-hitting educational book highlights the issues of ocean pollution and its effect on marine life. Inspired by powerful images of ocean pollution, this book will teach your child not only numbers and how to count but also the importance of taking care of our environment.


What’s the Commotion in the Ocean?

by Nyasha Williams 

A mermaid has a message for the earth about our seas and oceans! This is a rhyming children’s book reflecting on the current happenings in the ocean and what we can do to save them. An African American mermaid tells the story and addresses our impact as humans on the ocean and inspires change.



You can even pair the book with their very own travel-sized Plaine Products. Books and bathtime always go together! Who knows, one of these children’s books about plastic pollution may become your little one’s favorite book to read in the bathtub.



Most of these books are available at,  Amazon, or find them at your local indie bookseller!



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