New Zealand

Operations Reduce Plastics

Aparima College began their YRE campaign, Operations Reduce Plastics, with a school-wide presentation that covered some of the most worrying statistics about plastics in the world and in their local environment.  The students introduced a plan to measure the number of plastic bottles used by staff and students and ran a survey of student and staff opinions on how much plastic waste they produced.  After keeping a weekly tally of different types of materials, they discovered that the Staffroom was the worst culprit, with an average of 20 milk bottles used every week!

The school installed six Recycling Stations which included recycling and compost buckets and made a commitment to reduce their use of plastic by banning plastic utensils in the Soup Kitchen, making beeswax wraps, and by keeping refrigerated food in crockery bowls covered by plates rather than using cling film or plastic containers.

Students concluded the campaign by holding recycling craft activities, with the students making Bee Hotels and Christmas decorations.

A change of behaviour was observed as a result of the campaign.  Students and staff put their plastics in the recycling bins and many now choose to bring metal reusable drink bottles to school and use the drinking fountains.