High Peak kids helping to save the planet

Staff and children are putting their green foot forward, in their fight to reduce plastic pollution.

By Rheia Smith
Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 10:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 10:28 am
Pupils put their green foot forward by helping out with recycling and reusing at their school.
Pupils put their green foot forward by helping out with recycling and reusing at their school.

Kettleshulme St James Primary School are putting all their efforts into reducing, reusing and recycling with the help from the children.

Headteacher Paul Quirk told the Buxton Advertiser all about the initiatives in place at the school to ensure they ‘have ways to influence the thoughts and actions of others’.

Paul said: “We start with our Eco Officers - two of our older children who monitor what the school uses on a weekly basis and can target where improvement is needed.

Collecting old batteries is done as part of the school's initiative.

“This keeps the topic live and makes us think about how we use our resources. There is nothing more effective as children on a mission.

“Once a week our Eco-officers will inspect each classroom and award the green Eco-flag, made from recycled materials, to the class which shows a commitment to using resources effectively that week.”

Paul notes the importance of imagination when it comes to recycling, he continued: “Large cardboard boxes often get no further than the foyer because Class One have dragged them into their classroom to be turned into rockets and such like, or to create imaginary worlds with which children are expert.”

Kettleshulme St James Primary School are continuously introducing the pupils to new ways to follow ‘the three R’s’, with ideas such as the ‘Hot-bin’.

Paul explained: “The ‘Hot-bin’, which when operational will allow us to recycle a proportion of our cooked food waste.

“Of course, it is more important to reduce the waste in the first place but realistically, when catering for a large number, there is always going to be some, so we are now able to have some of it recycled.”

But it is not just at school that these environmental officers want the message to be heard - waste from children who chose to have a packed lunch in school, is sent home with them. Paul said: “This reduces the amount of waste from the school, but it also encourages the message to reduce, reuse, recycle at home.”

The school has been collecting old shoes, batteries and pens for years, and this year they have joined forces with Acclimatise Whaley, a local organisation committed to reducing the community carbon footprint.

The primary school has introduced terracycle bins for both school and community use. Paul said: “We have a bin in school in which we can collect empty crisp packets, toothpaste tubes and plastic coated cardboards. We have extended that to a bright red bin in school car park for the villagers in Kettleshulme to do the same.”

Now, Kettleshulme St James Primary School, are taking the fight to the suppliers to ensure packaging ‘is used to a minimum and plastic packaging is reduced considerably’.

Paul added: “We need to come up with more ways of reducing our use of plastic and ensuring the significance of plastic pollution today is reduced for all our tomorrows.

“Who knows - one of our children might be the scientist of the future who invents the perfect biodegradable plastic.”