Woonona East Public School students declare a war on waste

WAR ON WASTE: Woonona East Public School students have started a soft plastics recycling program at their school. They also wrote a play to educate other students.
WAR ON WASTE: Woonona East Public School students have started a soft plastics recycling program at their school. They also wrote a play to educate other students.

Woonona East Public School students have taken their ‘War on Waste’ to the next level.

And it was after watching episode two of ABC’s ‘War on Waste’ that class 5/6B decided to take action.

Teacher Julie Bartlett said the students were amazed and horrified at the amount of plastic that is thrown into landfill.

The program also spoke about the Redcycle program that is now available which makes it possible to recycle soft plastics, which can be recycled into things like outdoor seats and tables, balustrades and play equipment.

‘’Two of the students Sylvie Figgis and Tekeysha Russell made the suggestion that we could start soft plastic recycling at our school,’’ Ms Bartlett said.

‘’A group of students then got together and wrote a proposal for the principal and a short play that outlined the process that had led them to wanting to do something at our school to reduce the amount of plastic in landfill.

‘’The principal approved the proposal and five small wheelie bins were purchased.

‘’The lids of these were painted aqua blue and then Claudia Reilly and Sylvie Figgis and her family painted them with symbols to indicate that by using the bins we were trying to improve our natural environment.’’

A play was performed at the whole school assembly to educate the rest of the school about soft plastic recycling and to explain the process of how it was going to happen.

Once the bins were in place in the school, the whole class spent the first two weeks walking around the eating areas at recess and lunch, talking to the other students in the school about the plastics in their lunchbox and explaining which plastic could go in the soft plastic recycling bin.

Each week students empty and sort the bins and the bag of soft plastic is picked up by one of the parents in the school and dropped off at the Redcycle collection bin at Coles.

Sylvie Figgis also spoke to the canteen coordinator to work together to reduce the amount of plastic wrapped items that are sold in the canteen.

‘’The canteen now encourages students to bring their own cup for a slushy so we are reducing the number of plastic cups being thrown into landfill,’’ Ms Bartlett said.

‘’The students in year 5 going into year 6 plan to continue the program next year and want to challenge other stage 3 classes in other schools in the Wollongong area to set up a similar recycling programs.’’