Baldock pupils change plastic straw policy after writing to suppliers

PUBLISHED: 14:05 31 January 2019 | UPDATED: 14:55 31 January 2019

Children a Hartsfield JMI in Letchworth have written to their milk carton providers and asked for an alternative to plastic straws as a way of helping the environment. Picture: Hartsfield JMI Primary School

Children a Hartsfield JMI in Letchworth have written to their milk carton providers and asked for an alternative to plastic straws as a way of helping the environment. Picture: Hartsfield JMI Primary School

Archant

A Baldock primary school has scrapped the use of plastic straws with carton drinks, in a bid to do its bit for the environment.

The initiative from Hartsfield JMI Primary School comes after setting up a Key Stage 2 Nature Citizens Club which focused on changes they wanted to make in the school’s carbon footprint.

After growing concerned about the school’s plastic use, the students in the club wrote a letter to the company which supplies the school’s carton drinks – all of which come with plastic straws – asking for an acceptable alternative.

The school – which gets through 14,600 straws per year – received a response from the company who agreed to provide one-litre cartons of milk and supply reuseable beakers instead of smaller cartons with straws attached.

Hartsfield headteacher Philippa Smith said: “I am very happy to be supporting this initiative.

The club was set up by Alix Marschani, our Year 1 teacher, who feels very strongly about the use of single-use plastic in schools.

“They Key Stage 2 Nature Citizens Club was set up to empower our pupils to make changes in their school and their own lives, and to give them the opportunity to consider alternatives to environmental problems.

“It feels good to be able to do our bit for the environment.”

The children in the club have been looking at global issues, as well as learning about what they can do for the planet.

Those involved will be having a Skype call with some reindeer herders in the Arctic Circle to look at the effects of global warming on their surroundings. Club leader and Year 1 teacher Alix said: “Setting up the club was to help the children engage in making changes that would improve their enjoyment of the environment and they felt empowered to do so.

“The subject of plastic straws is an environmental problem that they felt they could help solve together and, at the same time, develop a democratic approach which respected their rights to participate as active citizens.

“Using our British values and the citizenship agenda we can help children actively engage in their own right to help make a difference from a child’s perspective, and to learn to be respectful of authority, rules and the need to follow a procedure.”

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