Nonprofit conservation society Sea Shepherd is trying to school kids about plastic pollution in a sneaky, almost sad way. The organization has teamed with Fred & Farid Shanghai to create "Pollutoys," a line of plush animals that don't bear the typical smiles of a cuddly bunny or fluffy puppy. Rather, they look downright downcast -- but there's an important reason.
Unzip the tummies of Mark the Shark Pelle the Pelican, Willy the Whale, Penny the Penguin and Martha the Manta Ray, and you'll find toy versions of the detritus that kills sea animals in the real world -- straws, cups, plastic bags, soda cups and balloons.
While quite depressing, the unique toys are meant to illustrate the real plight of the critters and pollution. According to the agency release, learning through toys can help kids improve memory retention in kids between three- to five-years-old by 77%.
To create the toys, Sea Shepherd and Fred & Farid worked with Andrea Vida, a toy designer based in Budapest.