To help pupils understand the scope of the issue, schools are taking part in a litter survey in their local area as well as webinars that explore how litter can end up in the marine environment.
Helen Jordan, the BPF’s sustainability issues executive, said: "This project is an engaging way to bring pupils face to face with the issue of litter and understand how irresponsible behaviour can have a negative impact on the marine environment further down the line."
The schools’ students are currently working on their own litter campaigns. Each school will submit their campaign and a panel of judges will decide on the best. The winning schools – one for Key Stage 2 and one from Key Stage 3 – will win £250 to put towards a ‘green’ project.
PlasticsEurope regional director North Kim Christiansen added: "As well as being a great way to educate students about the many problems litter causes [this project] also helps them understand the value of the materials in items like packaging and how they can - and should - be recycled."
The overall winner of CSI: Litter Challenge is expected to have their idea upscaled into a UK litter campaign, which the MCS and the plastics industry will promote.
Jenny Griffiths from the MCS said it was an opportunity for schools to cover curriculum requirements and empower young people to make a difference to the environment while improving the situation for marine wildlife.