I am very proud to announce that Portreath School has been awarded ‘Plastic Free School’ status. Miss Rundle and myself had the fantastic experience of taking Harry, Piran, Toby, Logan, Freya, Emily, Sowenna and Amelie to London to speak to George Eustice and then present at an ‘All Party Parliamentary Group’ meeting at 1 Parliament Street. We also got to look around the Houses of Parliament and visit the Natural History Museum. It was an incredibly proud moment for me when they spoke with confidence to a room full of people about what we have been doing at our school to reduce single use plastic. Everyone was suitably impressed. I would like to say a huge thank-you to Surfers Against Sewage, especially Ellie, Dom, Al and David for giving us this amazing opportunity. The children also produced leaflets that they handed out to the MPs, we will be sending copies home to you soon.
Here is the speech that the children gave at the APPG meeting: Over the last five months we have been working hard to make Portreath School a Plastic Free School, we want to protect the oceans and marine life that live in them. At our school we have changed our plastic milk bottles to glass ones, our un reusable ice packs for reusable ones and Chartwells, our catering company, have given us thick paper boxes instead of individual plastic pots. Last term we carried out a secret school litter pick (trash mob!). We were surprised with what we found, over 104 individual pieces of litter, a lot of which was from packed lunches. We held a boycott day to tackle this problem, we let everyone at school know our plans and we found out that the plastic usage dramatically decreased by half!! We are committed to continue our plastic free school work. We aim to reduce single use plastic even further and each year a plastic free committee will be formed to ensure this happens. We believe that the future of our planet and our seas depends on us as a school and all the children of our generation. Part of the problem is it’s not affordable for all people to be plastic free. Milk is twice the price in glass bottles and loose fruit and veg is more expensive forcing people on a low budget to buy food in plastic wrapper. What can be done to help people on a budget? In parliament the use of plastic straws has doubled in the last three years. Are there any plans to reduce or even ban their use? Our final point is that the government have recently introduced a sugar tax. Don’t you agree it is time to introduce a plastic tax to maybe make the public think twice and, more importantly, the major retailers reconsider their packaging options.