Environmental pollution


In this webquest you are going to discover what is the environmental pollution, the types and effects of environmental pollutionthe factors affecting pollutants and what can you do, what actions you can take to reduce pollution.Environmental pollution is one of the biggest threats to life as we know it. Pollution affects the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the ecosystems we depend on. If pollution severity continues to increase, human, animal, and plant populations will break down as they will not be able to cope with a drastically changing environment. There are factors that affect the rates of dispersal and degradation of pollutants. You need to understand the effects of these factors so youknow the locations in which pollution will cause the most damage. 


Your task for this webquest is to collect information, answer questions like: „What is environmental pollution?”, „What are the types and effects of environmental pollution?”, „What are the factors affecting pollutants” and „What can you do, what actions can you take to reduce pollution”, and discuss about these problems. The purpose of this webquest is not to test your knowledge, but to enhance your understanding of problems with the environment and to find solutions to heal the world.


Step 1

Watch these videos about the environmental pollution / causes and effects explained.


Causes and effects of water pollution – Sustainability: https://youtu.be/71IBbTy-_n4

Causes and effects of soil pollution: https://youtu.be/iIHw8gf6LqY

Causes and effects of air pollution: https://youtu.be/j9YDMsehsMQ                     

Complete the worksheet below, then discuss the other questions with your colleagues and teacher.


Step 2

Check the information about the causes of pollution and identify some actions you have taken to combat pollution.

Step 3

Access the links below and identify some actions taken at national level to combat air, soil and water pollution in the following countries: Romania, Italy, Poland, Greece, Portugal and Lithuania.








                             Great work! You are now at the last part of your project!!

              There’s always more to learn and know, always something to do related to environment         protection.


You are going to present your own promoting campaign.

1. Make a PPT, Canva or Prezi presentation showing 5 interesting facts about pollution.

2. Design a message for World Water Day which is celebrated on March 22 every year.

3. Draw 5 activities you can do to protect planet Earth.


Environmental pollution is not a new phenomenon, yet it remains the world’s greatest problem facing humanity, and the leading environmental causes of morbidity and mortality. Despite the global attention towards pollution, the impact is still being felt due to its severe long-term consequences. 

Top Environmental Issues in the world in 2023:

  • Air Pollution. As the world's second-largest emitter of carbon dioxide, preceded only by China, it comes as no surprise that air pollution is one of the biggest environmental issues 
  • Water Pollution. 
  • Water Shortages.  
  • Wildfires. 
  • Food Waste.  
  • Plastic Pollution.

The webquest was created during ERASMUS+ KA220-SCH “Let’s Go Green! partnership,Project number: 2021-1-RO01-KA220-SCH-000034430, KA2 - Cooperation Partnerships in school education 

Responsibility for the information and views set out in this publication lies entirely with the

project team. The European Commission support for the production of this publication does

not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Teacher Page

Environmental pollution

There are three major types of pollution:

•           the air pollution;

•           water polution;

•           soil pollution.

Within these three types of pollution, there are numerous pollutants (polluting elements): plastic, waste, light, chemical compounds, sound, etc.

The air pollution

The air in Earth's atmosphere is composed of about 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen, plus a few other gases: carbon dioxide, neon, and hydrogen. Air pollution refers to the contamination of the air with harmful substances, which are capable of causing disease and even death of organisms.

Cities are favorable environments for air pollution. London, for example, has been known to have poor air quality since the 13th century. Including the first book written on air pollution, Fumifugium, in 1661, the air, smoke and fog controversy in the English capital is discussed.

In December 1952, in London, the air was polluted with sulfur dioxide dust, causing the death of more than 4,000 people. The event went down in history as the "Great Smog of London".

Causes of air pollution

• residues produced in factories and then released into the atmosphere;

• transport field - exhaust gases;

• burning of garbage;

• indoor cooking;

• nuclear accidents.

Although it seems impossible, including the use of perfumes, cigarettes, cleaning products or pesticides can be a source of pollution of the air we breathe.

Water polution

Flowing (rivers, streams, creeks) or standing (lakes, seas, oceans) waters can also be polluted. Water quality decreases and becomes toxic both for humans and for animals and plants that live in water. Not infrequently, television stations have shown images of fish, dolphins or turtles that have washed ashore or are living in water surrounded by plastic, trapped in plastic packaging or that have swallowed plastic.

Causes of water pollution

• throwing garbage from factories and plants into waters;

• oil leaks and spills;

• agriculture - every time it rains, the water reaches the soil and picks up fertilizers, pesticides and carries them into the water table, contaminating the water sources;

• waste water that is not subject to cleaning processes;

• the generation of radioactive substances, through irresponsible human activities;

• discharge of waste into water.

Soil pollution

When we talk about soil pollution, we mean solid or liquid substances that get on or in the ground and contaminate the soil. These substances can be visible, smelly and can threaten health, especially since it is the soil that provides, directly or indirectly, more than 90% of food to humans.

A quality soil will provide us with a quality diet. Conversely, a soil full of pollutants will provide the opposite.

This type of pollution is probably one of the most visible to the human eye: we often witness the garbage lying on the side of the road, the waste we see on mountain trails and which destroy the natural appearance of some amazing landscapes.

Causes of soil pollution

• deforestation actions;

• agricultural activities - application of fertilizers and pesticides to have rich fruits;

• mining operations;

• soil erosion;

• poor management of household water that can end up contaminated in the soil;

• spillage of oil, petroleum and other fuel;

• the discharge of industrial waste - affects the quality of the soil, destroying the natural habitat of the organisms that live underground.

Plastic pollution

Plastic pollution is the biggest environmental challenge facing humanity today. This problem is a threat to the environment and animal life, and the cause of this type of pollution is human actions.

Plastic is a very durable element, its degradation is slow, over 400 years, due to its chemical structure. However, huge amounts of plastic, mostly single-use, are produced every year. Their production might not represent a problem, but the fact that there are no plastic recycling processes after use leads to the agglomeration of the environment with waste. Used and unrecycled plastic can be found in seas and oceans, beaches, parks, agricultural fields, rivers and lakes.

In addition, the production of plastic involves non-renewable natural resources that may soon be exhausted; coal, oil and natural gas are fossil fuels used in the creation of plastic, and their processing releases toxic gases into the atmosphere, which influence air pollution and, implicitly, global warming.

Plastic is not biodegradable (it cannot be destroyed by biological factors, already existing in nature). Large masses of plastic end up in landfills, oceans, and even roadsides — endangering the lives of animals in these environments.