School leads way on Government eco requestPosted: 29th January 2019
Forest Hall School is leading the way in the fight against waste.
The Government recently announced it wants all schools to be free of single use plastic by 2022.
But, Forest Hall School has been working with Wastepack, the compliance provider, to make its community as eco-friendly as possible for some time.
A waste audit established that of 3.6kg of rubbish thrown into general bins at the school, 29 per cent could have been recycled. Of the 4.2kg of waste put in the recycling bins, five per cent was not recyclable material.
The assessment found single-use plastic bottles and plastic wrappers were the main items discarded by students and staff – with 30,000 plastic bottles being used annually by the school.
Hannah Jones, head of school, said: “In the next two years, we will become free of single-use plastic bottles. Wastepack has donated 600 reusable water bottles with the school logo on for our students to use in place of the single-use plastic bottles. The canteen gives out free squash to encourage the use of the gifted bottles and there is an expectation for students to bring them in each day.
“Over time, we will focus our attentions on our use of paper and lights, too. We are also looking at becoming a drop-off point for people to dispose of small electrical items, such as kettles and toasters, for recycling.”
The school is working with Wastepack to come up with an action plan, with the newly-launched eco club and student executive team eco ambassadors already active in helping to reduce waste in the canteen and monitoring recycling bins. Extra water fountains have also been installed around the site.
Sarah Power, careers and enrichment lead, set up the eco club in September as a way of educating children in Year 7 to 10 on how to dispose of plastic responsibly. She said: “I want our young people to be more conscious as it is their future and their children’s future. A small change in a day can make a huge difference to the bigger picture.”
At the end of each term, Wastepack will reward students who are making the most changes and having an impact on waste.
Year 9 Amy Edwards is a member of the eco club. She said: “I like eco club because we get to make the school better with the environment and you get to plant and create new spaces.”