This week we are celebrating National Storytelling Week from the 30th January to the 6th February by highlighting some of the great story books focussed on rubbish, litter and recycling.  

If you’re looking for some inspiration this National Storytelling Week, then look no further. As educators we know how important storytelling is for developing our imagination, as well as our listening and language skills.   

What may be less obvious is the fact that they can help us better understand and even empathise with important environmental, cultural, and social issues.  

This doesn’t just apply to children either, even as adults we are gripped by stories whether it’s a dramatic segment on the news or the latest Netflix series.  

Today we want to highlight some of our favourite stories that talk about the important environmental issues around our rubbish. We hope to encourage you to start a conversation around waste with your students or children.  

You could also talk about what kept you interested in the story, was it the relatable main character, the storyline or something else? How could you use these things when telling your own story?  

For more information and ideas about National Storytelling Week, World Book Day and teaching resources visit the BBC webpage  

Here Comes the Garbage Barge!  
by Jonah Winter 

Image of the book cover for Here Comes the Garbage Barge! by Jonah Winter

Suggested age group: 5-11 

Summary: This book is based on a true story about the journey of a garbage barge from a little town near New York City all the way to Mexico and back again. The story subtly drives home the message that we can’t produce unlimited trash without consequences.  

Teaching resources: Garbage Barge Teaching Resources – Zone (  

By Andy Mulligan 

Image of the book cover for Trash by Andy Mulligan

Suggested age group: 11+ 

Summary: Raphael is a dumpsite boy. He spends his days wading through mountains of steaming trash, sifting it, sorting it, breathing it, sleeping on it. Then one unlucky-lucky day, the world turns upside down. A small leather bag falls into his hands. It’s a bag of clues. It’s a bag of hope. It’s a bag that will change everything. 

Teaching resources: Trash | Andy Mulligan (