Litter Things Matter to Surrey Schools

Tillingbourne Junior School in Surrey is one of two schools to be named winner of the first ‘Plastic Planet Challenge, an international youth-engagement competition for five to eleven-year olds. The challenge which saw hundreds of children taking part across Surrey alone was launched on World Environment Day by UK based not-for-profit environmental education organisation, Wastebuster in partnership with Recycle Now, and is part of a wider ‘Litter Things Matter’  programme which aims to raise awareness of plastic pollution. 

Tillingbourne School submitted a poster to motivate other children and their families to reduce plastic use and recycle more and will see the winning artwork printed on refillable drinking water bottles. As part of the prize Tillingbourne Junior School will also receive 50 of these customised pieces. 

As a long standing Green Flag Eco-School, Buckland Primary School not only entered the Challenge but also hosted a special assembly attended by Mike Goodman Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport. He said “I’d like to thank Buckland Primary School for inviting me to see the great work they’re doing to instil the recycling habit early. All of us in the Surrey Waste Partnership – the county council and district and borough councils – are working together to protect our environment in everything we do and initiatives like these which show children the value of reusing and recycling will help that cause now and in the future.”

Mrs Rebecca Hutton, Head Teacher commented, “Whilst we didn’t win the Plastic Planet Challenge we were delighted to take part as we are all ECO citizens at Buckland. Recycling and reducing plastic products has been identified as a key topic for our school and we have begun discussing ways of recycling and reducing plastic at lunch time in the dining halls. We already hold termly Waste Buster Collections and have had great success with this.” 

Recycle Now’s Jackie Bailey, said, “This first Plastic Planet Challenge has been a fun and engaging way for children to find out how they can prevent plastic pollution and motive their families to do the same. As a nation we are recycling more than ever, and by encouraging children to take part in the Challenge we hope to continue this trend and inspire the next generation to take care of the environment, preventing plastic pollution in years to come.”

Polesden Lacey Infant School entered the Plastic Planet Challenge shortly after winning £500, as the recently announced winner of another Wastebuster initiative, the Surrey Homework Competition.

For this competition, schools delivered assemblies featuring the Wastebuster films to explain to pupils about the need to recycle and used home worksheets to teach children what can and cannot be recycled in their community.  Hari, a pupil at Polesden Lacey Infant School, explained, “My parents are already Eco-people, but whilst Dad is a Master Eco, Mum is still ‘in training’!”

The school’s Eco-Leader, Katie Smith, who trained as a Biologist said, “If we can teach children to recycle and think about the amount of waste, then that’s half the problem solved.”  

Head Teacher Mrs Rosie Keedy commented, “At Polesden Lacey Infant School every child is a member of our Eco-Team, which means that every child is involved with our Eco-initiatives and so the benefits of these initiatives are widespread.  

We also made children aware of the amount of plastic and packaging used within the home, in just one weekend, by inviting children to bring it into school.  We now plan to convert this ‘mountain of waste’ into something useful!”

Wastebuster’s Founder, Katy Newnham believes ‘Surrey primary schools are some of the most engaged in the Wastebuster local authority funded programme in England, with the majority of these state schools in Surrey actively engaging in the scheme on a regular basis, to promote responsible consumption and more sustainable lifestyle choices to children and their families. 

The challenge to beat plastic pollution continues and at Wastebuster we are encouraging children everywhere to get involved in our ‘Count Me In’ missions over the Summer holidays. We want children to get going and earn some ‘Ocean Protector Certificates’ by using their crayons to bring some colour to the world of waste and create a poster, make up a dance to the popular Wastebuster characters’ Busta and Pong’s recycling song or get involved in a clean-up. Or why not complete all three, the challenge is on.To find out more and help beat plastic pollution visit www.wastenbuster.global.