In a landmark moment, we are thrilled to reveal that 1,000 schools across the UK are now taking the fight against plastic pollution straight to their communities.
The achievement is a significant milestone for Surfers Against Sewage, as it shows just how many young people across the UK want to make a real difference to the future of our beaches and marine wildlife – starting from their very own villages, towns and cities.
The Plastic Free Schools programme, designed by our charity to help students understand the issues of plastic consumption and take action, has been whole-heartedly embraced by teachers and pupils since its inception in 2017.
Led by the students themselves, it guides schools in the UK through the process of ditching single-use plastic – from conducting a litter audit of the school, to challenging government and industry and removing single-use plastic items from the site for good.
On achieving this goal, each school is then granted ‘Plastic Free’ status.
So far, we have seen some amazing results, with students making big changes within their school environment for generations to come.
Among them, successes include removing individual milk cartons, plastic straws, plastic bottles, plastic cups, condiment sachets, glitter, laminated paper, plastic plates and cutlery, single-use plastic food containers and plastic bags.
A spokesperson for Velmead School, in Hampshire, said:
“Plastic Free Schools has been a great initiative for our ‘Rangers’ team to follow. The steps are practical and achievable and have really helped to guide us through the mission of ridding our school of single-use plastics. As a result of this, we now have an almost completely single-use plastic free kitchen.”
And they’re not the only ones.
Other schools, like Upton House School in Berkshire, have pledged to remove one item of single-use plastic a month from their site, until they can do no more.
A spokesperson for Ripley Court School, in Surrey, added:
“We have absolutely loved working towards our Plastic Free Status. It has really inspired us as a school to do so much. It has had such a positive impact on the children, parents and the staff.”
In order to complete the programme and land Plastic Free Status, schools must follow a series of objectives:
- Form a Plastic Free Action Group
- Conduct a ‘Trash Mob’ – a quick fire, high energy school clean up
- Challenge government by contacting their local MP
- Challenge the industries who’s packaging ends up as pollution
- Remove at least three single-use plastic items from the school and commit to reducing individual single-use plastic consumption.
To get your school involved, head to the Plastic Free Schools section of our website www.sas.org.uk/plastic-free-schools/