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At School

Inspire people at your school to participate in Plastic Free July and refuse to use single-use plastic. Sign up to the Schools challenge here

What you can do

Share ideas to inspire people at school to participate in Plastic Free July

How you can do it

Many schools produce a large amount of plastic waste, but you can change that. By getting your school on board and educating them about the effects of plastic pollution, you can make a huge difference.

To start with, your school may also already have a sustainability committee or environmental club. If that’s the case, this can be a great opportunity to introduce the idea of Plastic Free July to like-minded individuals.

If there’s no committee yet, that’s OK. You can arrange a meeting with the principal and ask for their support in setting one up. Once you’ve got your group of like-minded people together, gaining momentum can be much easier.

Most schools choose to start small and get some easy wins as a way to build support. Have a look at our case studies  on reducing plastic waste at school to get inspired. Introduce the idea to the rest of the school by putting up posters or using our assets in newsletters to raise awareness and share solutions. 

Another fun and simple activity is holding a plastic free lunch day, where every student tries to bring their own lunch (not wrapped in plastic) or chooses a plastic free option from the canteen. Remember to let everyone know it’s happening and give them lots of notice.

Taking the next steps

Great school initiatives have come from brainstorming sessions. Often working with the committee will create ideas relevant to your school. These could include:

  • Approaching the canteen to reduce plastic
  • Helping a school event (e.g. disco, fete or carnival) to go plastic free
  • Reviewing the stationery list and suggesting plastic free alternatives
  • Reviewing the school procurement policy and adding in plastic free requirements

Setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals (for example, one school aimed for every student in Class 6 to use a reusable water bottle by the end of the year) can help you to track your progress as you go. You may be surprised by how quickly your changes can start to add up with a bit of time and effort.

Keeping good records of the committee’s meetings, goals, wins and challenges can be rewarding when you refer to these in the future.

The Impact

  • Students are often keen to make a difference and willing to make small changes if they can see the bigger purpose/feel part of a larger movement. A simple switch can have a huge multiplier effect.
  • Schools are also often a great base for broader change. Many students and teachers start to adopt plastic free practices in their everyday lives outside of school, too.

More ideas

What others do

Glass of lemonade, bunch of straws and a plastic juice bottle

To find plastic free ideas, take the Plastic Free July challenge

Reusable carry bag, keep cups and bamboo cutlery
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