Pupils at Pond Park Primary School have petitioned four multinational companies - Coca Cola, Nestle, PepsiCo and Unilever - to stop selling billions of items of single-use plastic into developing countries where people have little choice but to dump or burn it.
The school’s Eco Councillors took two assemblies to teach the rest of the school about climate change. They got all 626 pupils to sign Tearfund’s Rubbish Campaign petition.
The Eco Council is made up of children from Primary 4 to Primary 7 who are “enthusiastic about change” says the teacher in charge of the Eco Council, Emily Coulter. “They call upon the other children in the school, and in this case, challenge the four multinationals about their waste,” she explained.
The challenge to the four global brands is to take responsibility for their plastic waste. In poor communities around the world, burning and dumping of plastic waste is creating toxic fumes, flooding and carbon emissions, and the campaign is targeting to highlight this.
Mrs Coulter, who also teaches Primary 2, added: “Pond Park’s pupils, teachers and parents have worked hard over the last year to dramatically reduce the waste we send to landfill each month.
“The Eco Council monitors our bins, sorts our recycling and keeps the school up-to-date with all things ‘eco’.
“They wanted their peers to think globally about how waste affects others and Tearfund’s campaign was the perfect way to educate the children on the effect of waste, and to take action against it.”
Earlier this year, Tearfund released a report called No Time To Waste, which was backed by Sir David Attenborough, that found as many as a million people die each year from diseases caused by mismanaged waste - one every 30 seconds. For more information on the campaign go to www.tearfund.org/rubbish