Laois school banned plastic cutlery and holds Sustainability Week

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Laois school which banned plastic utensils holds Sustainability week

Student volunteers for Sustainability Week at Scoil Chríost Rí Portlaoise

A Laois school has stopped the use of plastic knives and forks to become more environmentally friendly.

Scoil Chríost Rí in Portlaoise has ended single use plastic cutlery for student lunches.

Instead students use metal knives and forks for their bought lunches from their local supplier Rafters. They also encouraged their lunch provider to make the switch to cardboard lunch containers.

Alice Stack is a teacher at the school.

"Since Christmas we have reduced plastic cutlery so the students now use stainless steel . The prefects collect them up and make sure they are washed. Lunches are also now provided in cardboard boxes rather than plastic or tinfoil which went to landfill. At least the cardboard is biodegradable," she said.

All this week March 2 to 6 the Green Schools committee and Development Education Committee banded together to hold daily events for Sustainablility Week.

Last Monday they held a recycling day, showing a short video to almost 1,000 girls on how to properly separate waste and what can and cannot be recycled.

On Tuesday the theme was Fairtrade, where they educated all in the value of buying food with the Fairtrade logo which ensures that suppliers in poor countries get a fair price for their produce.

"Students watched a video clip on what Fairtrade means. 5th years had a class on Fairtrade and got to sample Fairtrade chocolate. There was also much welcomed Fairtrade tea and coffee made available in the staff room," said Ms Stack who is helping the teams promote their week..

Wednesday was Sustainable Fashion day, highlighting the damage that 'fast fashion' does to the world. Teachers were encouraged wear clothes that have stood the test of time while students modelled outfits from Portlaoise charity shops. They  also held a swap shop in school.

This Thursday March 5 is WEEE recycling day, with old battery collection boxes in the school all day.

On Friday, an electrical van from the local Renault garage will visit the school to raise awareness of the damage that diesel and petrol does to the world.

"It is all about raising awareness of the damage of fast fashion, about recyling, sustainability and climate change, and the little steps we can all take," Ms Stack said.