Tackling Plastic Waste
Pupils in the Future World Team tackle the issue of plastic waste by contacting companies about their packaging.
As part of the curriculum at Greenfield, children are encouraged to take responsibility for their world as global citizens. Pupils have been learning about the damage being caused to the environment through our actions, and have been inspired to try to protect the environment from further harm.
The children have been motivated to conduct litter picks in their neighbourhood, challenge their parents to choose bananas without plastic in the supermarket and switch lights off at home. During February, two bake sales were organised by children in Year 5 to raise money for environmental charities, raising over £400 in total. Alongside these things, children have acknowledged the damage of single use plastic, and wanted to address the issue of plastic waste head on.
As many schools, businesses and individuals can resonate with, the school noticed that they were receiving large quantities of unwanted promotional material, magazines and catalogues all wrapped in plastic. As a school passionate about reducing waste, Head of Social Responsibility Beth Reeve, encouraged pupils to voice their concerns about the amount of plastic being received.
The Future World Team, comprised of 10 children in Years 3 to 6, was established in 2018 by children who are driven to protect the future of our planet. They are responsible for leading the rest of the school in eco-friendly initiatives and encouraging peers to live as socially responsible global citizens. The children requested that office staff hold on to any plastic wrapped post and in just two weeks, there were over 15 companies who were guilty of sending such items. Some of these companies were sending five or six of the same promotional catalogue, all individually wrapped in plastic.
The Future World Team gathered together during their break time to write letters to these companies expressing their concern and disappointment. One child wrote: “Your packaging will be very hard to break down and is bad for the environment. Your content in the catalogue is great but probably a lot of trees were chopped down to make it.” Another said: “We are trying to help the planet so please use biodegradable bags or you could send the catalogues by email.”
We hope that after reading these letters, companies will be encouraged to explore sustainable packaging options and also review the number of catalogues being posted. In her letter, a third Greenfield pupil said: “We want to help the world be a better place.” Although plastic-wrapped catalogues are only the tip of the environmental iceberg, Greenfield children are determined and actively working to make a difference in the world around them.