Wales

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Year 6 pupils from Griffithstown Primary School are taking part in an investigation which looks into the pollution of their local canal. YRE Litter Less Campaign fits well with the aspirations of the School as the cleanliness of the canal is important to the children of the school and moreover, to the people of Griffithstown. The nearby Friends of Henllys Local Nature Reserve received a grant to improve the use of digital learning outdoors so it was agreed that members of the Group should train the pupils to use their underwater drone to look at litter in the canal which will create footage for their YRE film entry. The pupils at Griffithstown Primary spent a great day with Chris from the local nature reserve learning and practicing how to use the drone.

Wales

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A group of creative media studies students with learning difficulties from Coleg Cymoedd, a further education college in South East Wales are taking part in YRE. The qualification has a research unit and a film making unit so taking part in YRE fits in particularly well with their learning objectives. Students took part in a YRE workshop outlining the problems of litter and an initial planning session for their YRE film. The tutor will carry on planning and developing their films with them. They also went on a visit to a local beach to witness first hand the effects of marine litter on our environment. The visit was enjoyed by all and they were intrigued by the amount of micro plastics found on the beach. These students are a great example of how YRE can inspire and involve all educational abilities.

Malta

On Wednesday 28th November at about 11:30 the Eko Skola and 3A, 4A, 5A students joined up together for St Lucia clean up event. From our school we walked to St Lucia local council to get gloves, pickers, garbage bags and recycling bags. We started cleaning round the playground and football ground area. We found may plastic bottles, cigarettes, lighters, tin cans, cartons, glass, paper, make-up, small piece of tile, parts of a fans, tin box, jablo, kids toys and ceramic flowers. We were surprised and appalled at the kind of rubbish that people decide to toss on the ground, instead of in a bin!! In all, we collected 16 green garbage bags and one black garbage bag, which contained mixed waste.   This activity made us aware of the need to keep our environment clean and that it really does not take much to put your waste in a bin!

A giant Christmas Tree was made our of collected plastic bottles to spread awareness on how to reuse material, and at the same time draw attention on the amount of bottles we are throwing away.

Read the news in the “Times of malta”.

Malta

In a bid to raise awareness of their campaign "From plastics to microplastics", students from Our Lady Immaculate school Hamrun held a debate on the issue.  A local TV presenter was invited to lead the debate, while speakers from various NGOs working on litter were invited to give their views.  All students were given a reusable straw - thus making it possible to refuse straws when going out.  On a different occasion a speaker from Birdlife spoke to year 4 and year 6 students about effects of plastic on the environment with special focus to birds.

As part of the same campaign, students have also eliminated use of disposable cups in the school - they urged the public to give them any mugs that they did not need - and now are fully supplied to cater to events without having to revert to disposables. 

Northern Ireland

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Last November in collaboration with BBC Northern Ireland School Report Team, the Eco-Schools team organised two workshops to enable post-primary school pupils aged 11-19 to better understand journalistic techniques of written-, video- and photo-reportage, before taking off with their YRE projects for the 2019 campaign. All Northern Ireland post-primary schools were invited to take part to these two events. The response was successful: of the total of schools registered for this year’s YRE programme, 75% of them attended the events, with over 90 pupils participating in the 1-day workshops in Lisburn and Magherafelt.

Northern Ireland

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A conference in Dublin’s Croke Park, looking at the Sustainable Development Goals and how Eco-Schools work supports the SDGsn was a big achievement for the two winners of last year’s YRE video competition. Pupils Max and Josh Kamalarajah, from Wallace High School, Northern Ireland, attended and presented their YRE video on food waste while discussing SDG2 “Zero Hunger”. The 160 attendees were blown away by the boy’s video and their professional presentation skills. Read our interview to the Wallace boys.

Spain

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On March 4, 2019, the celebration of the Community Action Day took place at the Santa Rafaela SAFA EEPP of Pedro Abad (Córdoba). This day aimed to raise awareness among students and families of the importance of recycling and the proper management of waste. The conference given to the Young Reporters for the Environment and the rest of the students of the educational center focused on highlighting the interconnection between the different environmental problems.

The students were also able to present the journalistic works carried out within the Litter Less Campaign, which focused on measures by the municipality to detect improperly discharged garbage. The students were surprised by the large amount of waste produced and discharged into the environment. With all the photographs taken by the students, they made a photographic exhibition, to which the mayor of the municipality was invited and in which she was able to find out which were the most degraded places in the town. A process of joint reflection was carried out with the mayor, who gave ideas to improve and resolve the situation.

Spain

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The students of the CEIP La Inmaculada or Salar (Granada) conducted an investigation on the state of conservation of the river that runs through the municipality, as they detected near the school a pipeline that discharged untreated wastewater directly into the river, leaving in its riversides numerous waste and garbage. 

To make this situation known and inform the population, the students decided to take action. First, they carried out a survey among the neighbors to know the degree of awareness and knowledge. Secondly, they conducted an interview with the Mayor of the town to express the seriousness of the situation, and finally, they organized a demonstration to demand measures to improve the environmental quality of the river. 

During the interview, the Mayor confirmed to the students that currently the wastewater is discharged directly into the river without being treated. According to his words, the municipality has done everything possible; however the resources of the Government of Andalusia are insufficient, since there are many sewage treatment plants that still have to be done. Meanwhile, the population continues paying fines for non-compliance with the European Directive. From the City Council they say that they are doing their best to solve this situation, and thank the students for investigating and informing the population.

China

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In order to strengthen students' awareness of environmental protection and energy saving, Xinghe Experimental Primary School carried out garbage reduction publicity and learning activities. To guide students start classifying garbage, recycling and reducing paper waste, and protecting the environment from their own in daily life.

On March 14, a variety of recyclable bins appeared in the classes of Xinghe Experimental Primary School, divided into paper recycling bins and plastic and metal recycling bins. While the original trash bins in the classroom were used as non-recyclable bins. Under the guidance of senior students, junior students understand the significance and basic knowledge of garbage reduction. At noon, the children took part in the garbage reduction signature event in the Starbucks Square, and engraved their determination with tender strokes ‘garbage reduction, starting from me’. At the parent-teacher meeting in the evening , parents also show their support on signature cloths.

Garbage reduction is a major project of far-reaching significance for the benefit of future generations, which requires the participation of us all. The children of Xinghe call on everyone to join hands, consciously classify the garbage to protect the beautiful Mother Earth.

New Zealand

St Peter’s College in New Zealand carried out waste audits and discovered that plastic film wrap formed a significant waste item and was also a common littered item at school.

The environmental group aims to produce Beeswax wraps student use in the school to eliminate the need to use clingfilm wrap in school lunches. The immediate priority will be to distribute them to the Year 7 students and they will offer incentives in the form of house points each time the student uses the beeswax wrap in their lunchbox. The ultimate aim is to provide beeswax wraps and educate all students in the school about the sustainability of using the wraps.

The college will survey the grounds and property management team as to the reduction in the amount of clingfilm by students. Waste audits will be conducted before and after the programme to assess the decline in the use of clingfilm.

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St Peter’s College have also implemented many projects with a focus on sustainability this year. They changed the school bin system and then implemented a program to inform the staff and students of how the new bin system worked. The school reduced waste to landfill by approx. 1.5 tonnes (Feb 2017 vs. Feb 2018)

Students produced a poster using the packaging and products sold by the school tuck shop to inform students as to the correct bin for each type of waste.

The school also began the Adopt-An-Area program where each house was given responsibility for a particular area of school in the effort to keep the school rubbish free.

At the School Fair, the students built waste stations to increase recycling and reduce the amount going into landfill.

Students have also begun a project with the school Edmund Rice group. A raised vegetable bed was installed and worm farms purchased using a grant from Auckland Council. The vegetables grown will be donated to the Auckland City Mission.

Lastly, the school introduced a Golden Ticket promotion: in an attempt to get students to actually notice litter “Golden Tickets” containing various prizes were hidden around the school at rubbish “hotspots”.

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