School support brings campaign one step closer to achieving plastic-free coastline status for Weston

PUBLISHED: 08:00 14 May 2018

Uphill Primary School SAS Ocean Guardians inaugural Beach Clean along Uphill beach.

Uphill Primary School SAS Ocean Guardians inaugural Beach Clean along Uphill beach.

Archant

The efforts of thousands of schoolchildren and their teachers has brought Weston-super-Mare one step closer to securing plastic-free coastline status.

The Cleaner Coastlines campaign.The Cleaner Coastlines campaign.

The Mercury launched its Cleaner Coastlines campaign in October, with the ambition of reducing single-use plastic, and securing the accreditation from Surfers Against Sewage.

The campaign was created alongside Weston Chamber of Commerce and North Somerset Council, and five criteria need to be ticked off before the town can win the plastic-free status.

Support from Weston Town Council, the creation of a steering group and popular beach cleans have secured three objectives.

The other objectives require 30 businesses to remove three single-use plastic items and 10 schools to get involved. The schools target was met this weekend.

Year five and six pupils, at St Anne's Primary School, encouraging others to ditch plastics.Year five and six pupils, at St Anne's Primary School, encouraging others to ditch plastics.

MORE: Thousands of schoolchildren take action over plastic.

A chamber of commerce spokesman said: “Educating the younger generation to respect and improve our local environment is of paramount importance if we are ever to make a difference.

“It’s so encouraging to hear parents at our beach cleans telling us their children are asking them not to buy single-use plastic products as they have learned about looking after the planet at school. The message is definitely getting through.”

The Priory Learning Trust, which has two secondary schools in Worle and two primary schools, was the first multi-academy trust to sign up to the campaign, while children at Mead Vale and St Georges primary schools have been learning about the harm plastic does to the oceans.

Uphill Primary School SAS Ocean Guardians inaugural Beach Clean along Uphill beach.Uphill Primary School SAS Ocean Guardians inaugural Beach Clean along Uphill beach.

Uphill Primary School signed up to Surfers Against Sewage’s Guardians initiative to create a beach clean team – and held its first event at the weekend.

The NSETC joined forces with Worle Community School and Windwhistle Primary School for a beach clean last week, and proved to be the final schools needed to hit the target.

Mercury chief reporter Sarah Robinson, who launched the campaign, said: “I’m certain there are other schools which have held lessons on plastic, and we would love to hear from you so we can add it to our final report to Surfers Against Sewage.

“We also want to hear from any churches or community groups which have got rid of single-use plastics.”

To get in touch, email sarah.robinson@archant.co.uk

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