July 24, 2023

Plastic Free July: Martin High School Eco Club

As part of ‘Plastic Free July,’ an initiative which aims to combat plastic pollution and ensure the conservation and protection of the environment, we are taking a look at some of the work our school Eco Clubs do; today, it’s the turn of Martin High School.

Still very much in its infancy, the Martin High Eco Club was formed in January 2022. Yet, in just 18 months, the children, guided by Mrs Sharma and Mrs Yallop, have undertaken a plethora of exciting projects designed to raise awareness and encourage a more environmentally-friendly way of living.

The 20 member-strong club have consistently been ensuring the school grounds and the surrounding Anstey community is clean and devoid of any fly-tipping and litter. The act of doing this has not only resulted in increased wildlife activity, but it has also allowed multiple events to take place e.g. the local BlossomFest Festival, which, as a result of their outstanding work, the children were invited to be stewards at!

They have also grown vegetables around school, enjoyed multiple guest talks from inspirational environmental speakers and have done sterling work for hedgehogs, creating feeders and distributing them around the community and creating various ‘hedgehog highways’ in fences on the school grounds.

Their catalogue of impressive ecological work has not gone unnoticed and, recently, the club received a £200 grant from the Parish Council and a £2000 grant from The National Forest, with which there are plans for an outside classroom. These respective organisations were blown away by the amazing work the Eco Club Students do.

For Plastic Free July, the club are going all out the keep the use of plastic to an absolute minimum. They have removed all plastic cutlery from the kitchens as well as plastic straws, whilst the use of clingfilm is also being cut down. Moreover, disposable plastic cups are now no longer used for events such as staff meetings and parents’ evenings and water filling stations have been introduced to encourage staff and students to bring in reusable bottles.

Additionally, they have utilised multiple online resources from Plastic Clever. Their online catalogue of workbooks and worksheets has educated the children on the process of recycling and why it’s important. It has also provided them with information about plastic pollution and the dangerous consequences this is having for animals, particularly those who live in the sea.

“I got involved [in Eco Club] because I wanted the students to understand more about the problems that plastic can have on wild life,” Mrs Sharma explained.

She continued: “we have a hugely motivated core of Eco Club members who want to be seen making a difference to their community and influencing their peers to do the same.”