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Oaklands School students cut plastic waste by more than 40 percent

Wednesday, June 19, 2019   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: education, waste, sustainability, young people

Oaklands School students enjoyed a mufti-day as a reward for reducing plastic waste by an average of 44 percent during a rubbish-free lunchbox week in early June 2019. Rubbish-free lunch week was organised by the school’s community problem solving group the ‘Eco-Warriors’.  All week they recorded numbers of people with lunchboxes free of plastic waste. Pupils got a mufti-day if more students had rubbish-free lunches than when the initiative ran late last year.

Last year more than 20 percent of students had rubbish-free lunchboxes - compared to an average of 44 percent of pupils this year.

10 year old Isis McKenzie is one of the Eco-Warriors. She says the group wants to encourage and educate students to cut down on the amount of plastic they bring to school. The ultimate aim is for Oaklands School to become completely rubbish-free.

“We hope students will see how easy it is to bring less plastic in their lunchboxes and it might get them thinking about the other plastic they throw away. Rubbish and plastic makes a big impact on the oceans and its sea life. It’s killing sea life and making some species endangered or extinct.”

Oaklands School deputy principal and Eco-Warrior leader Caroline Martin says the rubbish-free lunchbox initiative was one of a number the group had done or were planning to improve the environment of their school and the wider Halswell community. Last year the Eco-Warriors were involved in a clean-up day at Westlake Park in Halswell. They were making a video about how plastic damages the environment and how to minimize waste. They created an environmentally-friendly school mascot called ‘Nutty the Eco-Warrior’ and resources about sustainability.

The Oaklands School campus is currently being redeveloped. A number of new buildings were being constructed and refurbishment of existing buildings will begin in 2020. Martin says the Eco-Warriors and other students were thinking about ways to make their redeveloped school more environmentally-friendly.

Healthy Christchurch Champions

  • Canterbury District Health Board
  • Christchurch City Council
  • Environment Canterbury
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ngai Tahu
  • NZ Police
  • Pegasus Health
  • University of Otago, Christchurch