Reducing marine debris pollution by changing household behavior through children education

Start date

This paper aims at evaluating the direct and indirect effects of an educational program on students’ and parents’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) regarding the consumption and disposal of plastics. The program takes the form of an environmental education module, targeting 15 matched pairs of primary schools participating in the sustainable school program that is led by the Ministry of Environment of the Government of Chile, as part of their subjects.

The intervention is an adaptation of the content and curricula embedded in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOOA) marine debris program and consists of three modules. The contents are reinforced with messages, activities, and homework appealing to personal norms, being the latter designed to invoke parents’ attention indirectly. We do expect that a program of this sort may have the largest impact on behavior, compared with the provision of environmental education alone.

To account for the behavior of children and parents at home before and after the intervention, the experimental design also consists of the implementation of ex-ante and ex-post surveys. This allows us to control for observable characteristics at the individual level, to understand households’ dynamics in relation with consumption and disposal of plastic, and to investigate to which extent households’ knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding marine plastic pollution problem and other environmental problems and environmentally friendly practices are affected in response to the program.

Project status
Project | 4 May 2020