Eco champions’ video produced in bid to end plastic packaging
- Credit: Jemima Moore
Budleigh Salterton’s young eco champions have teamed up with East Devon schools to produce a video aimed to bring an end to plastic packaging used for fruit and vegetables.
Youngsters from St Peter's have been lobbying the government and suppliers to reduce and ultimately get rid of any single-use plastics it uses to send the school food.
As part of the free fruit and vegetable scheme, schools receive their goods in plastic packaging.
St Peter's Primary School's eco-champions wrote to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and food suppliers in a bid to end the plastic use.
Now the school has joined others in East Devon to produce a video in a bid to raise awareness of the issue and force DEFRA and suppliers to act.
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Jemima Moore, the school's eco leader, said: "Pupils let them know that - while they were very grateful for the fruit and vegetables for schools scheme, solutions to the wasteful packaging were needed.
"Eco champions asked that they find alternatives to sending fruit in so much plastic and stopped sending unrecyclable black plastic and plastic nets.
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"They also suggested that the snack could be delivered in reusable crates instead of cardboard boxes which are used just once, costing the school more than £400 to have recycled each year."
In September 2018, the school's children and staff began their mission to eliminate single-use plastics from across the school and very quickly identified the packaging coming from the government scheme as one of the largest sources.
Mrs Moore said: "The government is challenging schools to become single-use plastic-free by 2022 yet, every day this government-led scheme is sending huge amounts of single-use plastic to schools across the country.
"Instead of leading the way on turning the tide on single-use plastic waste and finding solutions, the response to the pupils' letters simply gave excuses."
Headteacher Steve Hitchcock reached out to other East Devon schools with the idea to create a visual representation of the problem.
DEFRA has been approached for comment.
Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLGElLJPMM0 to see the video.