Wokingham pupils team up with housebuilder to take a stand against plastic pollution

Currently, the UK throws away an estimated 295 billion pieces of plastic waste every year[1] – a significant degree of which is recyclable. To reduce plastic pollution at home, students at St Cecilia’s CofE Primary School in Wokingham have embraced local housebuilder David Wilson Homes’ recycling challenge, by filling a ‘Zero Waste Box’ with plastic packaging from home.

According to recent data, as much as 80% of the things we throw away could be recycled.[2] Armed with this knowledge, the children were able to collect a range of flexible and rigid plastics from home and school including plastic bottle tops, milk cartons and plastic packaging to fill their box. Once full, the box will be shipped to a recycling facility, allowing pupils to recycle approximately 3,525 units of plastic. The housebuilder, who is building its Ashridge Grange development just down the road, have rewarded the pupils with a bench made from recycled British waste plastic.

Julian Hodder, Managing Director for David Wilson Southern Counties, commented: “It takes up to 500 years for plastic to fully decompose[3], so we really wanted this activity to really bring to light the importance of recycling at home and how easy it is to identify what can be saved from landfill. The pupils really engaged with learning about the different types of plastics that are recycled and what they can be transformed into, to go on and be used in a second life.

“On a wider level, as a responsible housebuilder, sustainability is at the core of our business – we have also pledged to become the first housebuilder to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, to building net zero carbon homes by 2030 and to purchasing 100% of our operational energy from renewable sources. Both these smaller activities and more substantial commitments contribute to making positive changes to the environment and we thank St Cecilia’s pupils for working with us this month.”

Mr Thomas, Head Teacher at St Cecilia’s CofE Primary School, added: “We are really proud of our students for working together to reduce their plastic use and identifying waste that can be recycled. It was great opportunity to discuss why it’s so important to divert unnecessary waste from landfill and how easy it is to recycle. Following this activity, our students are certainly more aware of the importance of a sustained routine of recycling and together, how these small steps will positively affect the climate. The bench is also a lovely addition to our playground and is a visual reminder of how these sustainable decisions can benefit us all.”

1. https://greenecofriend.co.uk/plastic-free-july/
2. https://www.recyclingbins.co.uk/recycling-facts/
3. https://www.recyclingbins.co.uk/recycling-facts/