THREE primary school pupils have started a litter-busting campaign. The trio of Year Six pupils from Great Wood Primary School in Tean have been spending hours over the past few months clearing litter from their communities. They are 11-year-olds Corey Erdley and Grace Ansell, and ten-year-old Jacob Corns.
The trio have been inspired to start their eco-friendly campaign following lessons about the amount of plastic in our oceans led by their teacher Mr Adamson, along with watching David Attenborough documentaries focusing the global issue.
Corey said: “Mr A has been doing lessons on how to save the sea and we have watched David Attenborough’s documentaries on the issue which has inspired us to litter pick.
“It shocked me when watching the David Attenborough documentaries about all the rubbish in the sea, so I asked Grace to go out litter picking.”
Grace and Corey began litter picking at the end of last year, and Jacob joined in a few months ago.
Between them they have collected many bin bags full of rubbish from a variety of areas in and around Tean including at the village park and from the River Tean.
Grace said: “We try to go out litter picking at least twice a week, if not more.”
Corey, Grace and Jacob are not only committing to litter pick in their village each week but also wish to send out a message to others to not drop litter in the first place.
Grace said: “To people who drop litter, I would ask them to be aware of what they are doing to the earth.”
Corey said: “My message to people who drop litter is whatever you drop today could kill a turtle tomorrow.
“We all need to remember to reduce, reuse, and recycle.”
Jacob added: “I want to say to people, not to drop litter.
“Once a piece of rubbish goes into the ocean, there’s a big chance that it could end up killing something.
“I’m happy that I’m making a difference but I’m sad that there’s so much waste and it’s hard work because there’s so much.”
The pupils are also calling upon businesses to not use so much plastic in their packaging and for other items.
Corey said: “There are fast food companies which use too much plastic such as for their straws and cup tops.
“I would like to call on these companies to use a lot less plastic.”
Jacob said: “It’s shocking how much plastic is being used.”
The trio say that have already encouraged their school’s kitchen staff to create less plastic waste.
Grace said: “Instead of having small sachets of sauces, the tomato ketchup is now in a big bottle, and the mayonnaise is in a big pot.”
Jacob added that they have also encouraged less use of plastic at the school’s discos.
He said: “We used to have plastic glow sticks at our discos but now we are encouraging everyone to use glow paint on their faces instead.
“We are also looking at getting the goody bags changed as they are plastic and have lots of items with wrappers.”
Teacher Mr Adamson, who is also the Great Wood School leader, said of the pupil’s efforts to combat litter and plastic use: “We are very proud of the pupils who have taken this on board.
“It is unbelievable how they have really embraced this issue.
“It’s all very positive as they are the future generation who will be looking after the area.”
The litter tackling youngsters have also received recognition from community leaders by way of ‘certificates of thanks’ from Checkley Parish Council recently, after Corey and Grace, and later, Jacob and his mum, visited meetings of the parish council to talk about their campaign.
Jacob, Grace, and Corey are now calling on local people and organisations to assist in the purchase of high vis jackets and litter picking equipment.
Jacob added: “We are hoping to set up a day when we all meet up to litter pick and others can join us if they would like to.
“It would be great to raise money to be able to buy lots of litter pickers and high vis jackets so lots of people can get involved.”
Anyone interested in helping the litter-busting pupils, can call the school on 01538 702355.
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