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School to stop students drinking from single-use plastic bottles

PUBLISHED: 16:08 29 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:08 29 January 2019

Forest Hall School has been working to become more eco-friendly. Picture: FOREST HALL SCHOOL

Forest Hall School has been working to become more eco-friendly. Picture: FOREST HALL SCHOOL

A day in the classroom can be thirsty work - but now one secondary school has decided to phase out single-use plastic bottles in a bid to drastically cut its amount of unnecessary waste.

Forest Hall School has been working to become more eco-friendly. Picture: FOREST HALL SCHOOLForest Hall School has been working to become more eco-friendly. Picture: FOREST HALL SCHOOL

An audit at Forest Hall School in Stansted, Essex found that 29% of the 3.6kg of rubbish students and staff threw away could have been recycled - with 30,000 plastic bottles used annually.

So head of school Hannah Jones has pledged that: “In the next two years, we will become free of single-use plastic bottles.”

To achieve the tough target the school has teamed up with the company Wastepack, which has donated 600 reusable water bottles displaying the school’s logo so that pupils can use those instead.

It has also devised an action plan with its newly-launched eco club and student executive team eco ambassadors to reduce waste in the canteen and monitor recycling bins, with extra water fountains installed around the site.

Forest Hall School has been working to become more eco-friendly. Picture: FOREST HALL SCHOOLForest Hall School has been working to become more eco-friendly. Picture: FOREST HALL SCHOOL

And students and teachers do not plan to stop there - for once they have conquered their plastic bottle goals, they will turn their sights to paper and lights.

“We are also looking at becoming a drop-off point for people to dispose of small electrical items, such as kettles and toasters, for recycling,” she said.

Sarah Power, careers and enrichment lead at Forest Hall School, set up the eco club in September as a way of educating children in years seven to 10 on how to dispose of plastic responsibly.

She said: “I want our young people to be more conscious as it is their future and their children’s future.

“A small change in a day can make a huge difference to the bigger picture.”

At the end of each term, Wastepack will reward students who are making the most changes and having an impact on waste.

Year-nine student Amy Edwards is a member of the eco club.

She said: “I like eco club because we get to make the school better with the environment and you get to plant and create new spaces.”

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