Gillingstool Primary School

We traveled to the nearby town of Thornbury to visit Gillingstool School. Gillingstool is the latest primary school to join our plastic-free initiative. Working with the year 5 and 6 classes, we spent the day educating and raising awareness about recycling, ocean plastic pollution, and single-use plastics. We started the day with a talk about how everyone can help to reduce plastic waste. Then we moved on to our posters and timeline exercise.

The two classes took it in turns to have a go at our decomposition timeline activity. Splitting into five groups, the teams of children had to try and guess how long each item of rubbish, in their buckets, would take to break down.

The items in the buckets included:

  • A paper towel
  • A newspaper
  • A cardboard box
  • A plastic glove
  • A plastic shopping bag
  • A wet wipe
  • An aluminum can
  • A plastic bottle
  • A plastic toothbrush

Working in groups they placed their items on the time markers along the timeline. Almost all of the children were shocked to learn that the items took far longer than they expected to break down. The plastic toothbrush and drinks cans were especially surprising to them!

Students also worked hard on designing posters to encourage recycling and raise awareness about littering and ocean plastic pollution. We were very impressed by the unique designs that the students created; from surfers, to turtles, to basketball players, to giant bins!

These posters will be displayed across the school to encourage other students to use less plastic, and recycle more.

Using phrases like ‘Littering is Lazy’, ‘Slam Dunk The Junk’, and ‘Your Litter’s a Killer’, the students really gave their posters their best effort!

Gillingstool Primary is implementing several new ways to reduce single-use plastic. A new recycling bin has been placed in the lunch hall, a soft plastic collection point has been created, and older students are becoming litter and recycling champions to encourage younger children to recycle more.

We are scheduled to return to Gillingstool in two weeks to hold a litter-picking event as well as to see their progress on recycling efforts.

Life’s a Beach donated 345 water bottles to Gillingstool School so that every student now has a reusable bottle. We hope that by donating these bottles, we are giving the children the tools to help them reduce their plastic waste.

This school brings our total to 1175 bottles donated to school children so far in schools across Gloucestershire and South Wales!

If you would like to add your school to our plastic-free initiative, please contact us at We’d love to come and visit you!


1 Comment

  1. 20th July 2023 / 11:06 pm

    One of the aspects I truly appreciated was the school’s focus on education. We had engaging workshops and presentations on recycling, where we learned about the impact of waste on our planet and how recycling could make a difference. The program didn’t just stop at sorting trash; it instilled in us a sense of stewardship and a desire to take care of our environment. —Ā What impressed me most was the continuous support and encouragement from the teachers and staff. They made recycling fun and rewarding by organizing friendly competitions and offering small incentives to classes that excelled in their recycling efforts. This positive reinforcement motivated us to participate actively and reinforced the value of our contributions. Beyond the environmental benefits, the recycling program also fostered a strong sense of community and teamwork. It brought students from different classes together, allowing us to collaborate and bond over a shared goal. The program promoted a culture of sustainability and taught us valuable life lessons about the importance of being mindful consumers.

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