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Wirral pupils leading the fight against single-use plastics

A Wirral primary school has become the first in the borough to ban plastic straws and milk cartons to help protect the environment.

Pupils from Portland Primary School in Birkenhead decided to tackle the issue after learning about the impact single use plastics can have on the environment and wildlife.

In 2016, around 335 million tonnes of plastic was produced worldwide and around half of that plastic is used just once. Approximately 10 million tonnes of this plastic ends up in the oceans every year.

Although milk cartons may look like they can be recycled, they contain a thin layer of plastic inside to stop liquids leaking out.

Pupils now drink their milk out of cups without straws and order their milk in large 4 litre containers, which can be recycled. 

Not only has this reduced plastic waste at the school, but it has reduced waste collection costs and milk waste as well.

Gemma McMahon, a member of the school’s eco committee said: ‘We chose to focus on this project as the amount of waste produced from these cartons was clear to see around school each day.

‘We calculated how many children received milk from each class each week and produced a graph to show the annual amount of waste produced. The results were shocking and motivated us to act.

‘The changes were really easy to make and have made a great impact on our school.’

In recognition of their achievements, Portland primary have been awarded their third Eco Schools Green Flag Award.

The Eco Schools Green Flags are awarded by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy to empower and educate pupils to make positive changes in their local area and protect the environment.