Worthing teachers and students are leading the way in a major new campaign to cut single-use plastic in schools.
St Andrew’s High School for Boys is one of 12 across the country to sign up to Plastic Pioneers, a campaign led by environmental charity Hubbub.
Students have formed a committee to audit, advise on and experiment with ways to reduce single-use plastic, with initiatives including replacing plastic bottles with reusable ones, banning yoghurt pots and rethinking lunchtime packaging.
A spokesman said: “As part of St Andrew’s Plastic Pioneer project, we are looking at ways to reduce the use of single-use plastic in school, raising awareness about the environmental effects single-use plastics have and change behaviours whilst at the same time creating stimulating new experiences for our students.
“St Andrew’s are building an environmental policy around the three Rs, reduce, reuse and recycle. This will in turn save money and help ensure that any changes the school make have a positive environmental impact, improving the future of our plant and leaving our legacy for future generations to enjoy.”
The school was thrilled to win first prize at the Worthing Light Festival in September with its artwork Man O’ Waste, lit using renewable energy and workshops have been scheduled workshops with expert guest speakers.
Campaign co-ordinator Natalie Bayliss, creative partner at Hubbub, said each school involved had been coming up with different, innovative ways to cut down on single-use plastic.
She said: “Pupils up and down the country have devised some brilliant ideas, from cutting out plastic in canteens to experimenting with alternatives to plastic prizes at school events.
“Single-use plastic is everywhere and our schools are no exception. It’s so ubiquitous, we often don’t even register it’s there, and yet it’s having an extremely damaging impact on our wildlife and environment.
“This campaign helps empower young people to challenge whether single-use plastic really needs to be used and to come up with alternatives.”
Next year, all 12 schools involved in the campaign will report back on the single initiative that has made the biggest difference to cutting the consumption of single-use plastic in their school.