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St. Mary's Primary School tackles single-use plastic pollution

20 May 2021

After a meeting with MP Sara Britcliffe and captain of industry, Tony Grimshaw OBE, pupils from St. Mary's Roman Catholic Primary School, Clayton-le-Moors, are leading the way in recycling single-use plastics.

The pupils of St Mary's RC Primary School in Clayton-le-Moors are an inspirational group of children. They have been teaching the world how to give plastic a second life by making ecobricks. Ecobricks are plastic bottles stuffed tight with single-use plastic.

The year three children have made enough ecobricks to construct an entire classroom. MP for Hyndburn Sara Britcliffe and responsible plastic housewares manufacturer Tony Grimshaw OBE (Director of What More UK) were invited to visit the school to see the latest project.

Ms Britcliffe MP commented: "We've had a wonderful afternoon at St Mary's Primary speaking to the year three children about all they're doing and the messages they're getting out to save the environment. We took What More with us to talk about reusing plastics, and the benefits of that."

"The issue of plastic packaging is close to the hearts of the children in the school," said Head Teacher Michael Mashiter.

"Our children are the next generation and it's important they understand about their carbon footprint. We've been looking at exciting ways to recycle waste plastics."

Mr Mashiter, along with head girl Molly Perkins and head boy Isaac Ryan, presented Ms Britcliffe with a book documenting their eco-journey, collated over three years. This book shows how deeply the school and its pupils are committed to caring for the environment. The pupils hope Ms Britcliffe will pass the book on to Boris Johnson the Prime Minister.

What More UK, the Hyndburn based housewares manufacturer, were invited along to talk to the children about what they are doing to reuse plastic. 

Company Director Tony Grimshaw explained to the children that What More is also creating reusable products from "single-use" plastics. The firm's popular Upcycled range of housewares is made from 95% recycled post-consumer plastics. In a single day they manage to divert around 40,000 tonnes of waste plastic from landfill.

Mr Grimshaw commented: "Single-use plastic is drastic. You can give things a second life. Plastic can have a second life. Everything can be recycled if you're creative about it, and that's what these inspirational kids are doing."

Children at the school have also been using What More's Wham boxes as improvised green houses to grow vegetables for the school's kitchen.

"They're the best greenhouses in the world," commented one enthusiastic child.

"These children are our future and we need to make sure we are working with them and working with businesses to make sure they get the future they deserve," said Ms Britcliffe MP.

The school children are determined to continue making their ecobricks for bigger and more impressive projects in the future.

For more information about St. Mary's Primary School in Clayton-le-Moors, including details of the ecobrick project and footage from the BBC North West's coverage in 2019 visit www.st-marys-clayton-le-moors.lancs.sch.uk.


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