How To Reduce Single Use Plastic In Schools

How To Reduce Single Use Plastic In Schools

The media has a lot of information and material on the damage caused by the plastic to the environment. In education circles, we are extensively talking about reducing plastic waste in all possible ways. So, our kids are already aware of the gravity of the topic. Kids are more sensitive and responsible in several ways to reduce the plastic and save the environment which is evident in the lot of campaigns and initiatives they have been championing during the recent days. With a little more motivation and guidance they can do far better than now and give their best as a community to reduce single-use plastic waste. Here we discuss some ways in which schools can bring down the use of single-use plastic.

How To Reduce Single Use Plastic In Schools
Photo by Aliko Sunawang

A clear outline

The movement called ‘Plastic Clever Schools’ championed by kidsagainstplastic.co.uk suggests that appropriate action is required to reduce the single-use plastic including the Big 4 plastic pollutants namely cups +lids, straws, bottles and bags in addition to crockery and cutlery. This movement has generated all of the resources for the registered schools that will be useful to become a plastic clever school.

Plan for a litter collection day

Schedule litter collection days at the school premises and involve the students in batches. Also, organize for programs for the students to take part in bigger cleanup programs in the municipalities and the community around you. During the process, the students can be encouraged to keep a tally of the types of single-use plastic items they come across and decide how much of it can be effectively recycled. Give some interesting activities to students like “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle”. Such initiatives will help increase the awareness and commitment in the kids to contribute their bit to the movement against plastics.

Organize researches and discussions on the effects of using plastic

In 1907, Leo Baekeland dubbed plastic as “the materials of a thousand uses”. He was the inventor of the first completely synthetic plastic. In the course of time, some plastics turned out to be beneficial and life-saving while most others turned up as potentially unnecessary. Ask the students to research on topics like ‘if there are areas in which plastic use is justified in terms of its benefits outweighing the environmental impacts’. Such discussions can broaden the understanding of students and motivate them to reflect on the higher issues related to plastic. Give them some projects on suggesting alternative materials to the plastic used in daily life and packaging.

Encourage students to start campaigns in schools

Ask your students to start campaigns in your school to reduce single-use plastic. For example, a kid named Chloe Mei Espinosa started a movement called a straw-free school campaign which grew to a phenomenal dimension. Inspired by her example and lead, 32 campuses in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District in Southern California have become a part of this movement and have totally shunned the use of single-use plastic straws. Students across different counties are cutting down on disposables, they are composting cafeteria waste, recycling batteries, plastic bags, and milk containers and other items. When you give your school kids, the necessary motivation, information, and guidance, they can really achieve a lot in the lines of reducing the single-use plastic.

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