Hitchin Girls' School pioneering eco-friendly food and drink packaging

PUBLISHED: 10:27 15 September 2018

Showing off the new eco-packing at Hitchin Girls' School. Picture: HCL

Showing off the new eco-packing at Hitchin Girls' School. Picture: HCL

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Hitchin Girls' School has become the first school in Hertfordshire to offer only compostable food packaging, as part of a drive to reduce its carbon footprint.

Showing off the new eco-packing at Hitchin Girls' School. Picture: HCLShowing off the new eco-packing at Hitchin Girls' School. Picture: HCL

The school’s dining hall and schools meals packaging were refurbished during the summer holidays, with the support of Hertfordshire Catering Ltd.

More than 100 extra seats have been added to the hall, allowing more pupils to eat inside and avoid the need for food packaging.

All takeaway food items and coffees now come in fully compostable food packaging supplied by Vegware.

Hitchin Girls’ head Frances Manning said: “I have been increasingly aware of the impact of plastics on the environment and as a result have been keen to reduce our usage.

The new eco-packing at Hitchin Girls' School. Picture: HCLThe new eco-packing at Hitchin Girls' School. Picture: HCL

“When we discussed this at school I discovered that our school council had also raised this as an issue that they would like to address.

“We soon realised it was very straight forward to introduce compostable packaging and Vegware and HCL have been very proactive and accommodating in what we wanted to achieve, so it was easier than we expected.”

Students at the school have been extressing much interest in learning about recycling and supporting the sustainable packaging movement.

Pupil Ruby Crowe said: “It’s exciting that we’re the first school in Hertfordshire to implement this sort of thing, and see our waste production really drop.”

Rose Firth added: “Waste has such a big impact on the environment, and schools can really make a difference being such large organisations.”

All Hertfordshire Catering Ltd takeaway containers are fully compostable. Hitchin Girls’ is the first Herts school to also work with Vegware and provide a fully compostable service.

Hertfordshire Catering Ltd chief executive Ian Hamilton said: “We are proud to be supporting a fantastic initiative to make school meal packaging more sustainable.

“It’s great to offer the option of dining inside or outside. However, the choice to eat outside with takeaway packaging at this school is now guilt-free with the new Vegware range, and we’re pleased we helped to make this happen.”

Staff and students at Hitchin Girls’ are also enthusiastic about reducing plastic waste.

In May, the school committed to ensuring that all paper and plastic waste was recycled, and aiming to be free of disposable plastics. For example, a new school skirt was picked out that was made from nothing but recycled bottles.

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