Climate Action Team Update

This week, the Climate Action Team had the chance to analyse the plastic collected during Plastic Amnesty Week. They sorted through over 10 bags of plastic to find out how much of it was recyclable and what kinds of plastic students had contributed.

They found that around a third of the plastic collected was recyclable, so encouraging students to recycle appropriately will be a key element of the Climate Action Team’s strategy. They are also focusing on reducing plastic wherever possible. The Dining Hall has already phased out plastic straws, replacing them with paper straws, and the school will be moving from plastic cutlery to wooden disposable cutlery imminently.

There are more challenging items, such as plastic drinks bottles, but the team has begun the process of contacting manufacturers to enquire if there is non-plastic alternative packaging available.

The Climate Action Team also visited a number of local primary schools, presenting on the Plastic Amnesty Week to encourage younger students to come up with initiatives to reduce plastic at their schools.

Launching the Plastic Amnesty Week

This week The Roseland Academy held its first Plastic Amnesty Week as part of a campaign organised by the Climate Action Team.

This initiative will form part of a bigger project going on this term, as part of Surfers Against Sewage’s Plastic Free Schools Campaign.

The Climate Action Team kicked off the week with a hard-hitting assembly challenging students to think about the amount of single-use plastic being thrown away in school. The CAT had investigated and found that there were a huge number of plastic bottles and lunch packaging being thrown away, and they explained to the students about how that rubbish could end up in landfill and the ocean, and does not break down like natural materials.

Single-use plastic is an issue which has received high exposure over the past year, in part due to David Attenborough’s Blue Planet series, which showed people the impact single-use plastic is having on the ocean and its inhabitants. The Climate Action Team were particularly inspired to act by a clip of an albatross ingesting plastic, and shared the clip with the students in the assembly.

As part of Plastic Amnesty week students were asked to place any plastic rubbish in special bins around the school. These were collected and displayed in the hall; demonstrating to students the volume of plastic being thrown away in a week.

Following the plastic amnesty, the Climate Action Team will be analysing the different kinds of plastic that students have contributed, in order to create a strategy for reducing the amount of plastic waste the school creates.

One student said, “I had no idea of the amount of plastic we throw away as a school. I’ve been very surprised to see how much rubbish there has been in the big bin in the hall! It’s definitely made me think when I’m buying stuff about how much plastic is in the packaging.”

Mr Holmes, Climate Action Team Leader and DT Technician, said “I’ve been very impressed by how proactive the Climate Action Team have been. They did an amazing job in the assembly at the beginning of the week and all the students and staff have really got behind the initiative. I believe that we can make a difference to how much single use plastic is thrown away in school, and over a year this would be a huge reduction in waste!”

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