Yesterday Wilberforce Primary in Queen’s Park launched a new project which seeks to change the way in which pupils dispose of plastic and all rubbish. The ‘A Future Without Rubbish’ project, which is being run in partnership with social enterprise, Clear Public Space, aims to educate children about the damage plastic is doing to our oceans and to encourage them to change their behaviour about waste.
To launch the project, Wilberforce pupils enjoyed a visit from Jo Ruxton, founder of the Plastic Ocean Foundation, which seeks to raise awareness of the damage plastic is doing to the oceans. She has worked with several TV presenters and film makers, such as Sir David Attenborough, to highlight the current crisis faced by our oceans.
Jo spoke to the children about the use of plastic and what it is doing to the oceans. She said:
“Plastic was designed to be indestructible, to last and to last and yet, for some reason we decided to make single-use items out of it and we called them ‘disposable’. We were told we could simply throw them away but with plastic, there is no ‘away’.”
In preparation for the launch, all the school’s pupils visited the London Aquarium to see for themselves the spectacular world that lives beneath the oceans and which is at risk if we do not change our behaviour.
Through this project the school will seek to change children’s habits when disposing of plastic and other waste. Over the next few weeks, the children will learn about recycling and about the little things they can change that will make a big difference; for example, not using plastic stirrers or straws. The children will also be given their own non-plastic water bottle for use in school and there are plans to take them to a recycling facility.
Launching the project, Head Teacher Claire Macfie, said:
“A Future without Rubbish seeks to change the way in which we all deal with rubbish. It is everyone’s responsibility to face up to the problems of plastic pollution and I am proud that Wilberforce Primary is playing such a leading role in this project. As a school which is committed to delivering an Education with Character, we take very seriously our responsibility to teach our pupils about the importance of taking care of the world in which they live. Through this project, we will really open our pupils’ eyes to the reality of what is happening in our oceans and make them change their behaviour around rubbish. This is a problem that we have to face up to today – not in ten years’ time – which is why it is vital we start educating the next generation about caring for the environment.”
Luke Douglas-Home, Managing Director of Clear Public Space, said:
“This project has already increased recycling rates and cleared public spaces of litter in four council areas in UNESCO-listed Romania. To help raise recycling rates in Westminster from 20% towards their target of 50% is our ambition for the project. Where better to start this than at Wilberforce Primary! We organise small, but regular, activities with the school to change perspectives (and behaviour) about waste. Soon the children will see all rubbish as a resource, not to be discarded lightly.”