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Meet the seven-year-old waging war on plastic

PUBLISHED: 14:27 24 June 2019 | UPDATED: 14:27 24 June 2019

Seven-year-old Leyla Tooke has created a series of posters to teach people in Attleborough about plastic pollution. Photo: Submitted

Seven-year-old Leyla Tooke has created a series of posters to teach people in Attleborough about plastic pollution. Photo: Submitted

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Businesses in a Norfolk town are showing their support for a seven-year-old determined to teach the world about plastic pollution.

Seven-year-old Leyla Tooke has created a series of posters to teach people in Attleborough about plastic pollution. Photo: SubmittedSeven-year-old Leyla Tooke has created a series of posters to teach people in Attleborough about plastic pollution. Photo: Submitted

Leyla Tooke is only seven-years-old, but is already taking on one of the biggest issues facing the planet in 2019 - plastic pollution.

Inspired by a talk by conservation charity Sea Shepherd at her school, Rosecroft Primary, the youngster has been creating artwork warning people about the impact of single use plastic on marine wildlife.

Her mother, Gemma Bailey, said her daughter had always shown an interest in wildlife and had wanted to be a vet for some time, but that the visit had prompted an outpouring of support from the seven-year-old, despite being told by her friends that nobody would listen to her.

Armed with colouring pencils and catchy slogans such as "make the sea happy", the seven-year-old has created a series of posters for local businesses to display in their windows.

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Leyla said: "It made me sad hearing about animals eating plastic instead of their real food so I wanted to stop everyone putting rubbish in the sea. We can see the difference between plastic bags and jelly fish but the turtles can't. I just want this to stop."

On Saturday, June 22, Leyla and her mother visited businesses in Attleborough to encourage them to display the hand drawn posters in their windows.

Nationwide on Church Street and Taylors Petfoods on Station Road both agreed to support her cause, and Ms Bailey said the family hoped more would soon follow suit.

She said: "To say I am proud of her is an understatement. There are very few adults who stand up for what's right, let alone a seven-year-old. As a family we care about the environment but all of this has come from her, it's completely her idea."

Ms Bailey said Leyla's enthusiasm to create the posters meant they were running out of crayons and that she had resorted to photocopying the pictures to meet demand.

And although Leyla has retained her passion for helping injured animals, she has now focused her aspirations on becoming a marine biologist to help the fight against plastic.

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