In 2021, a Canadian non-profit organization launched a free online educational platform to raise awareness of the plastic pollution impacting oceans worldwide. The Ocean Legacy Foundation recently updated the curriculum for the EPIC Academy, which is based on the four pillars of Education and Research, Policy and Advocacy, Infrastructure Development, and Cleanup and Restoration.

EPIC Academy combines sustainable technologies, education and skills training to convert plastic pollution into economic value while providing local communities with the tools needed to prevent plastic pollution and protect their local environment. Program participants have collected over a million pounds of plastic waste from over 670 km to date and have actively pursued plastic pollution cleanup, education andSource: Ocean Legacy FoundationSource: Ocean Legacy Foundation recycling activities.

The free e-learning Plastic Pollution Emergency Response education curriculum moves students from beginner to advanced levels and is suitable for ages 14 and up. It includes 10 online lessons pertaining to ocean and land-based plastic pollution, the environmental impact of plastic pollution, and how different communities can take action managing plastic waste and solving the ocean plastic pollution crisis. The curriculum can be accessed in English, French and Spanish.

Each of the 10 lessons takes approximately 90 minutes to complete. Level 1 targets the individual learner and includes special guidance for high school teachers, such as classroom guides and assignments, to help them lead their students through the lessons. Level 2 is targeted toward individuals and organizations, especially local leaders and waste management and recycling professionals, who are concerned about plastic pollution and want to learn how to take action to stem the flow of plastics into the environment. Upon lesson completion, participants receive an EPIC Academy digital badge that can be shared on social media. An EPIC Academy Certificate of Completion is awarded on the completion of both levels.

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