Hezlett Primary School near Castlerock has been named the first ‘plastic-free’ school in the Causeway Coast and Glens.
It received its ‘Plastic Smart’ award from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council after taking part in a campaign to reduce the use of disposable plastics.
Congratulating pupils and teachers, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Joan Baird OBE said: “Hezlett Primary School has set a great example to us all by reducing their use of disposable plastics like straws, bottles, coffee cups and wipes. We are delighted to formally acknowledge their efforts and we hope their enthusiasm towards this important initiative will inspire other schools and groups to take part. We can all make small changes to become ‘Plastic Smart’ and together have a positive impact our local environment.”
Mr Murray, Vice-Principal of Hezlett Primary School said: “We are very proud of our Eco-School status and continually strive to do our best to reduce, re-use and recycle. We run an extra-curricular Eco-Club, and have resources in the school to support and enhance our environment and improve biodiversity. We are delighted to have become one of the first ‘Plastic Smart’ schools in Northern Ireland. We are proud of how the children have been inspired to not only reduce the amount of plastic in school but also contact local businesses and other schools to encourage them to do likewise. Hezlett Primary encourages children to be aware and responsive to their environment and it is hoped that this campaign will motivate our whole community to do the same.”
400 million tonnes of plastic is produced every year. Around 40% of that is single-use. This means it is used once, often for only a few minutes, and then it is thrown away. While some of our plastic can be recycled, including the bottles and food containers which can go in our blue bins, many plastic items cannot be recycled and end up as litter.
It is estimated that 8 million items of plastic enter our oceans every day. And with one in three fish caught for human consumption found to contain plastic, this issue is directly impacting on us too.
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s new ‘Plastic Smart’ campaign is asking us all to avoid single-use plastics. With the aim of becoming a ‘Plastic Smart’ Borough, Council is asking community groups, churches, businesses and residents to reduce single-use plastics such as:
* water bottles – use a refillable bottle instead
* disposable coffee cups – use a ‘keep cup’ for take-away coffee
* plastic straws – washable stainless steel straws are available
* disposable wipes – use a cloth
* plastic bags – use a bag for life
* plastic film or wrap – use a lunch box instead or buy fruit and veg loose when you can