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Pint-sized eco warriors wage war on single use plastics

PUBLISHED: 16:37 12 July 2019 | UPDATED: 20:08 12 July 2019

Sheringham Primary School pupils Ivy and Lucas with one of the  bright yellow Terracycle bins being filled with crip packets and pens as part of a scheme to recycle single use plastics into other products.
Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Sheringham Primary School pupils Ivy and Lucas with one of the bright yellow Terracycle bins being filled with crip packets and pens as part of a scheme to recycle single use plastics into other products. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

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A rubbish-eating shark, an umbrella jellyfish with carrier bag tentacles and a ceramic seal caught in discarded plastic packaging were just some of the artworks on show at an environment-themed exhibition hosted by pupils at Sheringham Primary School.

Sheringham Primary School deputy head Sue Brady and pupils with one of the  bright yellow Terracycle bins being filled with crisp packets and pens as part of a scheme to recycle single use plastics into other products.
Photo: KAREN BETHELLSheringham Primary School deputy head Sue Brady and pupils with one of the bright yellow Terracycle bins being filled with crisp packets and pens as part of a scheme to recycle single use plastics into other products. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

The show, which also included collages, posters, videos and written presentations warning of the threat to the planet of single use plastics, was the result of a collaboration with Sheringham Plastic Aware (SPA) group, whose work will shortly result in the town being awarded Surfers Against Sewage plastic-free coastline status.

Since being set up by a team of town councillors, the group has launched a series of initiatives, including hosting talks on recycling and launching a plastic-free champions scheme which has seen awards being handed out to more than a dozen local businesses for their efforts in cutting down on single use plastics.

Eight-year-old Sheringham Primary pupil Isla with the collage she made as part of an exhibition aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of single use plastics to the planet.
Photo: KAREN BETHELLEight-year-old Sheringham Primary pupil Isla with the collage she made as part of an exhibition aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of single use plastics to the planet. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

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At Sheringham Primary, members of a SPA junior group were last month presented with a town council community award for their work on reducing waste in school, which has included carrying out a single use plastic survey in classrooms and writing to letters to school meals contractors Norse, which resulted in the company switching from using individual ice cream tubs with plastic spoons, to dishing out ice cream from catering-sized tubs.

Sheringham Primary School pupils Lila, Evie and Phoebe with the artworks they made for an exhibition aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of single use plastics to the planet
Photo: KAREN BETHELLSheringham Primary School pupils Lila, Evie and Phoebe with the artworks they made for an exhibition aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of single use plastics to the planet Photo: KAREN BETHELL

The school has also become a drop-off station for the TerraCycle recycling scheme, taking delivery of two bright yellow wheelie bins which pupils, parents and school visitors will be asked to fill with empty crisp packets and used biros and felt tip pens.

A partnership with crisp makers Walkers, the scheme has more than 14,000 collection points across the UK and Ireland, with waste either turned into plastic pellets which are used to make other products or 'upcycled' into products ranging from backpacks made from stitched together juice cartons, to shoes made from crisp packets.

Sheringham Primary School pupil Peggy, 7, with her single use plastics project.
Photo: KAREN BETHELLSheringham Primary School pupil Peggy, 7, with her single use plastics project. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Sheringham Primary deputy head Sue Brady said the school's focus on recycling and reducing waste had made pupils and their families think more carefully about how much of what they use goes into landfill.

She added: "The children have put a huge amount of effort into the work they have produced, which just goes to show how much they have taken the message on board, and what we want now is for everybody to know that they can come to school to drop off their pens and crisp packets."

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