The Children of Hook with Warsash Church of England Academy ditch all single-use plastics
The Final Straw Solent is thrilled to announce that we took part in an amazing initative to go single-use plastic free on the 8th May to raise awareness of the damaging impact single-use plastics are having on our environment. Lets turn the tide on plastics.
This fabulous iniatitive was the brain child of a group of parent’s who’s children all attend Hook with Warsash academy. All from varying backgrounds from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and National Fire Chiefs Council to Sunsail, they all knew something had to be done about the plastic crisis and that educating the next generation was key. With this in mind they started to create a plastic free day and what better day to do this than on Sir David Attenboroughs 92nd birthday ‘8th May’. They began a mission to educate their children and all of those attending Hook with Warsash academy on plastic pollution, waste and how they can all change their habits and reduce the use of all plastics in the future, forever.
For this to work, help was installed in the form of head teacher Sara Willoughby who was as passionate as the founders of the day in educating the school children. She invited both teams from ‘A Plastic Free Day’ and ‘The Final Straw Solent’ into her school to help spread messages of reducing, reusing and recycling plastics. Lessons ran in many classes about recycling that included children bringing into class their home recycling, so that it could be counted up as a class project to see what the most waste was and to think of ways to reduce this. With a huge amount of plastic milk bottles counted up children were headed home to ask their parents of they could think about getting the milk man to deliver their milk in glass bottles!
The school chefs even created a school lunch totally free from plastic packaging. At home time head teacher Sara Willoughby stated ‘This has been an incredible day, educating the children with messages that will last a life time. We will continue to encourage our children to reduce their single-use plastic use and support them in any changes they want to make both here in school and outside.’
The Final Straw Solent took the time to speak to several of the children about the day. Evie Boulding and Madeleine Relf, both aged 11 and in year 6, stated that they have noticed ‘piles of plastic everywhere. It’s disgusting and it’s hurting and even killing our wildlife. Animals are choking on plastic, whales and other sealife think that it’s food and it’s causing them pain and suffering. It's a really bad case of mistaken identity.’
Founder Alex Rhodes said “It’s been a real priviledge to help these children build a positive day of action. To hear their hopes for a better, more sustainable future and share them with partners and supporters from all over the UK has been an honour. I’m looking forward to working with them more over the coming months and years as we turn the tap down on unnecessary plastic waste”.
We wanted to express our thanks to the teachers and pupils at Hook with Warsash Church of England Academy for enabling us all to create a great day and to help educate the children on such an important environmental topic. We look forward to seeing the children on the next beach clean and when we collect up all of our platic straws after they run their plastic straw amnesty in conjunction with us in the coming weeks. Finally, we cant wait for the next plastic free day and hope that many more schools will join us on the day and all of our voices can be heard together.
The UK fire sailing challenge at Sunsail was also carried out on the 8th May to highlight the plastic waste on the ocean and encourage re-useable products. There were 29 boats competing from the RLNI, Police, Ambulance and Fire Services and all with the mission of collecting up as much plastic waste as they could whilst racing. Bags of litter were collected after the event and this further highlighted the waste issue and how we need to change people thoughts and actions towards their plastic consumption.
It can all feel a bit overwhelming trying to reduce your single-use plastic use, so at the Final Straw Solent we have decided that we need to focus on the small local changes that can create global change.
- USE REUSABLE BAGS. Plastic bags are not very strong anyway and can get blown into the countryside, waterways or the sea so easily. There are loads of interesting, cool, fun or pretty reusable fabric shopping bags around, so why not take one of those with you every time you go shopping, rather than asking for a plastic one?
- REFUSE STRAWS. Most people do not need a straw, and if you do then why not use a paper, wheat or bamboo straw or reusable metal one. If you are offered a straw in a cafe, bar or restaurant, just say ‘no thanks!’.
- USE REUSEABLE WATER BOTTLES. Single-use plastic bottles are expensive to produce, use up valuable natural resources to make and transport and create mountains and mountains of waste once we’ve gulped down the contents. And recycling’s not the answer either, here in the UK an estimated 800 plastic bottles a MINUTE are either ending up in landfill or as litter, which will too often make its way into our waterways and out to sea. We can all help with this by purchasing a re-useable water bottle.
Put simply, if it’s plastic or wrapped in plastic, think about viable alternatives. Refuse that straw and any other unnecessary plastic, spread the word and help save our planet!
We hope that people will follow these campaigns with earnest and join us for our next organised beach cleans, and that it will have a positive impact on our environment and change peoples’ views on their consumption of single-use plastic.
Please find the Final Straw Solent on all social media networks and at www.finalstrawsolent.org
Please find A Plastic Free Day on www.plasticfreeday.co.uk