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Windsor school first in county to receive 'plastic free' status

Upton House School has become the first school in the county to receive official ‘Plastic Free School Status’.

The accreditation from national organisation Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) was helped by the work from pupil-led Single-Use Plastics Free Alternatives (SUPA) Committee.

Comprising a team of pupils from years four to six, the St Leonards Road school’s SUPA committee began as part of an enrichment programme for pupils whose research revealed the effects of plastic.

It has gathered pace as other pupils and members of staff have joined the ‘highly charged campaign’, which has also joined forces with the Plastic Free Windsor group.

Committee member, pupil Emily Nicholas said: “We have replaced plastic snack bags in the school kitchens with Hessian nets and reusable boxes – saving 6,220 bags per year.

“We have pledged to remove one item of SUP a month, [and] we are aiming to reduce plastic use in pens and plastic wallets.

“The work is never-ending – every time we finish a project, we get more great ideas.”

Upton’s SUPA Committee’s achievements come in response to SAS’s schools programme which aims to empower young activists in key stages 1-3 to create positive and lasting environmental change.

Rhian Thornton, headteacher, said: “This innovative campaign is the perfect example of the inspirational teaching at Upton where we encourage critical thinking, complex problem solving, co-ordination with others, negotiation and effective communication – all essential life skills we value so highly at Upton. To have reached our goal so quickly is an amazing testament to their hard work and dedication, and as always we are extremely proud of their efforts and achievements.”

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