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Plastic Awareness- One Item at a Time

Vision

The grand vision for our school is one where all single use plastics have been replaced with reusable materials. We know that this will take time and effort, but we know it is possible. With constant awareness, education, reminders and incentives to do better, our school aims to eliminate the use of single use plastics by the end of 2022. This includes plastic wraps, straws, bags, food packaging, disposable cutlery, cups, and more.
We will do this by aiming to eliminate one single use plastic at a time. We have been 100% successful in switching to reusable water bottles as well as using cloth tablecloths only. Step 2 is to replace all lunch items with reusable cutlery, dinnerware, cups and containers, all packed in reusable lunch bags. This includes eliminating the use of plastic wrap in packed lunches. Step 3 will be to stop using plastic bags to carry things around – both at home and school and instead use reusable totes.

Action

Once CoVid restrictions subside, our school will be conducting a school wide, student led educational campaign. This will involve;
– inviting guest speakers to talk about environmental concerns and proper waste management
– sharing videos and other media sources to educate peers about environmental concerns and impacts.
– peer incentive programs where students encourage one another and champion one another to reduce the use of single use plastics
– Educational signage around the school and frequent announcements to constantly remind students of our mission and campaign.

All water fountains in the school have been replaced with filling stations. All students are required to use reusable water bottles at all times and are encouraged to drink water often. In the past, we would provide disposable cups to students who didn’t own or forgot their bottles, but with some of the grant money we have purchased water bottles for students to own and use.

We are a community school and traditionally take lots of opportunities to share school wide meals. In the past, we have gone through rolls and rolls of plastic tablecloths that were disposed of after one use. We have purchased durable, polyester table cloths that will be used for years in our school. This initiative alone will reduce our waste and save money in the long run.
In addition, we have purchased enough metal cutlery, plates and glasses to cover our gatherings and avoid purchasing disposable tableware.

Reflection & Celebration

We are delayed in our actions due to CoVid however we can celebrate that we are using reusable water bottles 100% of the time. Our students are remembering to bring their bottles to school daily and are using the filling stations regularly.
We also ran a Fall fundraiser sales campaign on reusable bags- snack bags, lunch bags, tote bags, etc. Through this campaign we were able to educate and promote the use of re-using bags.

Links

What is ‘Plastic Clever Schools’?

Check out Less Plastic

Read about Reducing and recycling of plastic waste in schools

https://secure1.nbed.nb.ca/sites/ASD-S/1921/Pages/default.aspx
13. Climate Action
12. Responsible Consumption and Production
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
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