Local pupils tackle plastic waste issue in Parliament

Primary Earth SummitPupils from 20 primary schools, two from West Sussex, told high-level politicians and industry leaders how they thought plastic waste could be reduced.

The children, from Seaside Primary School in Lancing, and Waterfield Primary School in Crawley, were finalists in a nationwide competition run by Wastebuster – a waste education programme available to all primary schools. It is funded in West Sussex by the County Council and District and Borough councils.

Over 18,000 entries were received – and just 20 schools were shortlisted, including the two West Sussex primary schools.

The competition was part of the Wastebuster Primary Earth Summit 2014, which was a satellite event of the annual European Green Week.

Pupils were asked to explore and design practical solutions for plastic waste Summit in the Houses of Parliamentminimisation.

These were to be evaluated across four categories: Education and Awareness; Collection System Improvement; Marine Environment; and Product Design and Innovation.

The finalists were then invited to present their ideas to a panel of high-profile politicians, scientists, NGOs and industry leaders at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster on Monday, June 16.

Seaside Primary School and Waterfield Primary Schools reached the finals of the ‘Education and Awareness’ category and ‘Collection Systems’ category, respectively.

Seaside Primary School created a plastic bottle octopus, designed to highlight the problems marine litter can cause for sea creatures, intended for display on beaches around the country.

Primary Earth SummitWaterfield Primary School from Crawley put forward a Swan poster concept, woven into a fence using plastic bags to be used to raise awareness of the problems plastic causes for wildlife and the need to recycle or dispose of plastic waste responsibly.

Two pupils from West Wittering Parochial C.E. School, Chichester, were invited to attend the 2014 Summit and were awarded a ‘Special Recognition Award’ for their outstanding display of initiative having completed an entry outside of school, which they submitted with the help of their teacher.

Lionel Barnard, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services, said: “The Wastebuster project is a fantastic environmental education programme.

“It gives schools, pupils and parents a really unique way of addressing the issue of

Wastebusters Captain Buster

Captain Buster from Wastebusters

waste, and encourages them to be more environmentally-aware.

“The fact that two of our West Sussex schools were finalists is a phenomenal achievement for everyone involved.

“It is extremely inspiring and I think all of the children who contributed to this project should be very proud of their accomplishments.”

To find out more about the Wastebuster project, please visit www.wastebuster.co.uk.

Carrie from Sussex Green Living assisted Wastebuster and the children at the Training Day, helping prepare the child for this unique experience of presenting in Parliament and then again at the Primary Earth Summit.  Carrie said “It was an honour to be in the presence of so many passionate and bright young Eco Warriors, their ideas and enthusiasm gives me great hope for the future”.

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