Plastic – not so fantastic on Miramar Peninsula
July is Plastic Free Month and the Worser Bay School community has launched a ‘Plastic Free Peninsula’ campaign. Students, staff and parents are raising awareness about plastic in the Miramar Peninsula coastal environment and are taking action to address the problem and reduce consumption, both at school and at home.
To kick off the campaign and raise awareness, a movie event was held for the school community, showing short films about plastic consumption, its impact on the natural environment and personal stories about how individuals can make a difference. One film, ‘Turtle Bank Hustler’, was even shot on the Miramar Peninsula and features home grown talent, Kate and Davida Harcourt, who also attended the launch event. Students and parents were inspired by the movies and are motivated to get behind the campaign. Jupiter Boltt (7 years) commented “Plastic is a big problem for birds and creatures living in the sea. They eat it and it makes them sick.”
On Sunday 3rd July, International Plastic Bag Free day, the school community held a coastal clean-up around the Miramar Peninsula with assistance from Loveyourcoast.org. Over 300kg of rubbish was collected and some interesting items were uncovered including a welding mask, picture frame, complete fishing rod, sailor’s washing machine and parts of an old, washed up suitcase. Hugo Maitland (9yrs) said “I’m surprised how much rubbish we found. I’m surprised we didn’t see it at first till we looked closely, it was tangled in the bushes and wedged between the rocks”. The students then took the rubbish back to school to complete a waste audit of their findings.
The Plastic Free Peninsula campaign will continue beyond July and the students are wishing to share the campaign with other schools, businesses and communities on the Peninsula. A blog page is being developed and more activities are planned for the weeks to come. Jude Pentecost, Principal at Worser Bay School says “it’s exciting to be building on our strong sustainability foundation with Plastic Free Peninsula. It’s even more exciting to witness how a seed, an idea, given attention, energy and people power can become a reality so quickly. What a huge contribution our school community can make to something much bigger. Learning opportunities for us all children, teachers and whanau abound!”
Worser Bay School parent and campaign spokesperson, Miranda Struthers, explains “to be ‘plastic free’ is aspirational- it’d be really difficult in the modern world. The Plastic Free Peninsula campaign is focused on thinking differently about how we use and consume plastic. The first place people can start is with single use plastic like shopping bags, disposable cups and straws but we do not want to tell people how to behave. Sustainability is a step-by-step journey, no matter what your starting point is; the important thing is that everyone is moving in the same direction.”
Read more about the launch over at Cook Strait News.
For more information about Plastic Free Peninsula, please contact Miranda Struthers, 0211736330.