Young pupil on mission to clean up plastic pollution on beach in Ras Al Khaimah

Tyler Smith creates sculpture for school out of hundreds of plastic knives and spoons found in the sand

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A young pupil is on a mission to clean up a beach in Ras Al Khaimah after finding hundreds of plastic knives and spoons discarded in the sand.

Tyler Smith, 7, who attends RAK Academy British School Al Hamra, was asked to bring in items that could be recycled for a special school project.

He and his family started saving bits and bobs until he visited a beach cafe and found dozens of items of plastic cutlery nearby.

He used them to create a sculpture and has since contacted the venue to ask if it would consider using more eco-friendly cutlery.

“It [initially] looked like there were quite a few plastic knives and spoons. But it turned out to be so many,” said Tyler's mother, Emma Cresswell, from the UK.

“We said 'OK, we are going to also try to also make something at home'. Tyler has a fascination with birds.

“So we thought we would go home and create our own sculpture and we would take that one into school as well.”

He opted to make a sculpture of a bald eagle out of the plastic cutlery in homage to his part-American heritage.

It is now on display in the lobby of his school.

Ms Cresswell said the project has had quite an effect on her son.

He wrote to the manager of the venue where he found the rubbish on the beach to say that while he'd enjoyed his visit, he hoped something would be done about the plastic waste.

“Recently I collected lots of plastic knives and spoons (mainly from the club) to make a recycled sculpture for a school project,” he wrote in the letter.

“The project made me aware of the environmental impact of plastic cutlery.

“Did you know it can pollute the sea? It can also endanger wildlife and fill up landfills.

“Would you consider changing to more eco-friendly cutlery? Thank you, Tyler Smith, age 7.”

The pupil said has yet to hear back but is hopeful his letter will lead to change.

“I would like people to stop using single-use plastic,” he said.

Updated: March 12, 2022, 7:15 AM