We returned to Gillingstool Primary, who joined our Waste Less initiative this month, to check in and hold a local litter pick.
Earlier this month we visited the school to speak to their years five and six classes, who were taking up the roles of litter and recycling champions. Students listened to our talk, worked on our decomposition timeline activity, and created posters to inform the rest of the school about plastic waste, littering, and recycling.
Since our last visit the school has been working hard on raising awareness about plastic pollution and littering. They have created recycling board games, have installed soft plastic collection points in the lunch hall, and have been creating art pieces from plastic bottle caps.
We have returned after several weeks to see how the older classes are getting on, and to speak to the rest of the school about the Waste Less initiative. We started our afternoon by heading to the local park, The Mundy Playing Fields, to tackle litter not only in school, but the local area also. The year six class, who only have a few weeks left of primary school, were keen to collect up as much litter as possible with one student saying:
“I’m going to make sure there are no plastic bottles left anywhere!”
Upon our arrival we had a picnic, enjoying the good weather and talking about single-use plastics we find in our daily lives. Once we had eaten we got to work. Kitted in gloves, high-vis jackets, and armed with bag hoops and pickers, the students started searching for litter.
Mundy Playing Fields is a large park with lots of places where litter can collect. We focused on the hedges and the stream where the wind had blown lots of rubbish. We were so impressed by the enthusiasm of the students who didn’t hesitate to dive head first into the bushes, and get wet where necessary to retrieve litter from the stream.
Working in together, the pupils showed great team work to tackle the hard-to-reach litter. Some held out the bags whilst others picked, and helping each other through the bushes. We found an unusually large amount of crisp packets, glass bottles, and vapes, but some of the stranger things we found included:
- A private land sign
- A football
- A foam rocket
- A paint roller
- Several pennies
- A plastic cone
- A metal lawn roller
- A car part
After a couple hours of litter picking we had collected 5 bags weighing in at 8.78 kilos. Our biggest school litter pick ever!
We headed back to school just in time to avoid the rain. We ended our day by giving the entire school an assembly on why plastic pollution is an issue, and how we can all reduce our plastic waste together. This primary school has really thrown themselves into the plastic free mission. They been collecting soft plastics that can be hard to recycle, collecting 2.74 kilos since our last visit. This brings the total to 11.63kg collected by the school so far.
Life’s a Beach also donated reusable bottles for every student, so that the school can avoid single-use plastic drinks containers. Gillingstool have now implemented a rule that there is no need for single-use plastic bottles to be brought in from home, hopefully reducing the school’s plastic waste significantly.
With their continuing efforts, we are sure that Gillingstool Primary will continue to recycle impressive amounts of soft plastic, as well as continuing to reduce their plastic waste.
Thank you to Gillingstool Primary for not only taking on our Waste Less initiative with gusto, but joining us in our mission to reduce single-use plastic.
If your school would like to join our Waste Less initiative, please contact us at email@example.com for more information.