MP praises St Martin’s Academy’s efforts to reduce plastic pollution

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Cabinet minister Michael Gove has praised St Martin’s Academy for their commitment to reducing plastic waste on a visit to the Chester school.

Mr Gove has been on the campaign trail in Chester ahead of Thursday’s local elections, but stopped off at the primary school to fulfill a promise to return five years after his first visit.

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs took the opportunity to address the whole school and described Sir David Attenborough as his ‘hero’ for speaking the truth about climate change.

And he listened as children spoke passionately about the devastation of plastic waste, and what they do at school and at home to minimise its impact.

Mr Gove said: “I am really impressed. Everything you are doing is absolutely the right thing.

“My generation has been using plastics and your generation is cleaning up our mess. Everything you have talked about is absolutely brilliant.”

Mr Gove was shown a sculpture of a whale made by pupils out of non-recyclable plastics to highlight its devastating impact on sea creatures.

And he vowed to personally help pupils in their bid to get glue sticks made out of recyclable plastic, by writing to a manufacturer.

Headteacher, Wenda Smith, added: “As a whole school we are going to write to the glue stick manufacturer and hope that they will take notice.

“We are fully committed to reducing plastic waste so we keep our use of single use plastic to an absolute minimum, with things like reusable water bottles and fresh-cooked school dinners.

“We recycle and up-cycle as much as possible and encourage children to do the same at home.”

The Conservative MP also proved a vote winner with pupils when he fulfilled his promise to deliver cakes to every child, made during his 2014 visit, then as Secretary of State for Education.

The school is part of North West Academies Trust (NWAT) which has pledged to reduce single use plastic across all its schools.

St Martin’s Academy, the first primary free school in Chester, was launched in 2013 and was graded ‘Outstanding’ in its first Ofsted report. It rates in the top 3% of schools nationally after scoring 100% in the latest phonics screening tests.

Other NWAT schools include Delamere Academy, near Northwich, which is ranked the highest performing primary in West Cheshire according to the latest performance tables and Grosvenor Park Academy, which joined the trust in December.

For more information about St Martin’s Academy, email: admin@stmartinsacademychester.co.uk or tel: 01244 566 166.