Grosvenor Park Academy has become Chester’s first officially plastic free school.
The city centre primary has ditched single-use plastics and campaigned for companies to clean up their act, while children have scoured the streets for rubbish, reduced waste in their lunchboxes and spread the word through social media.
Now conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage have recognised the Academy’s efforts and handed them Plastic Free School status.
The team of eco-warriors, led by teacher Charlotte Gill, have vowed to continue their mission with regular litter picks, awareness raising and improving air quality by planting flowers and vegetables.
Teacher Mrs Gill said: “It started when we invited Helen, our friendly Friend’s of the Earth campaigner, to school. She told us all about the problems facing the world’s oceans, marine wildlife, climate, local community, pollution levels, personal health and basically life on earth as we know it, caused by plastic!
“If we didn’t appreciate the scale of this issue before, some of the facts Helen told us were terrifying.
“Did you know nothing can be done to recycle clingfilm? That yoghurt pots are the most common plastic item not recycled? Or that every day eight million pieces of plastic pollution find their way into the world’s oceans?
“We tweeted our findings to start spreading the word.”
The school has now enlisted the support of City of Chester MP Chris Matheson, and children have lobbied Walkers and MacDonald’s, whose packaging made up the majority of litter they picked up.
Members of staff have also cut down on waste, and parents are being urged to think about how they can help too.
Head of School Richard Clark said: “Everyone involved has worked incredibly hard to get plastic free status, and I am extremely proud of this achievement.
“As a school, we will continue to reduce plastic use and look at ways to reduce food waste and improve recycling facilities.”
Grosvenor Park Academy is part of North West Academies Trust (NWAT), which is working towards Plastic Free School status in all its schools across Cheshire and Shropshire.
Steve Docking, CEO of NWAT, said: “This is thoroughly deserved for Grosvenor, and we are looking forward to announcing plastic free status at all our schools in the near future.”
For information about Grosvenor Park Academy email: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 01244 569560.