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Reducing plastic waste

Last term the pupil-led Emanuel Eco Committee were discussing what the school could do to help reduce our plastic waste. They were horrified by the number of plastic bottles they found while they were on a school trip helping The Environmental Trust to clean up the banks of the Thames last November, and research showed 10% of the litter in the Thames is plastic bottles - half of which are water bottles. Londoners, it turns out, drink more bottled water than anywhere else in the UK, getting through an average of 3.37 disposable plastic water bottles every week. One pupil asked the Emanuel catering department and found that last year Emanuel School bought over 20,000 disposable bottles.


The committee's idea was simple: give each pupil in the school a reusable water bottle and stop providing pupils with disposable bottles. 

Pragmatic solutions such as this are just what the school is looking for, so after the half-term all pupils will be issued with a new water bottle, branded with the Emanuel logo, and we will stop issuing single use bottles after that. Additional water fountains are being installed around the school so pupils will easily be able to fill their bottles.

In addition, after half-term, we will no longer be selling any drinks in the sixth-form café or the refectory in single use bottles.

The Eco Committee is on the look out for other ways Emanuel can be kinder to the environment. Last term we ran “Wasteless Week” where we encouraged pupils to only ask for the food they thought they could eat at lunchtime and rewarded them for cleaning their plate - this reduced plate waste by 47%!

Any additional suggestions are welcome; please send them through to John Hale

John Hale (Eco Coordinator)