Headteacher Nick Stevens and pupil Sarah Nazir, Falah Ramadhan, Abdullah Ahmed & Souradrita Bhowmik, proudly recycled the 1,000th plastic bottle to be collected at Riverside Primary School in Maidenhead in just 6 weeks, as the school looks to cash in on the pilot launched by Greenredeem.
Greenredeem’s pilot with schools in the Royal Borough looks to understand how schools can play a part in increasing the recycling rate of plastic bottles. The UK currently uses around 13 billion single-use plastic bottles a year with a recycling rate which has plateaued at 57 per cent for the past five years. Three billion of those bottles end up being disposed of, incinerated or littered, finding their way into the countryside or the marine environment.
Riverside Primary School is one of 16 schools in the Royal Borough to participate in the Greenredeem led pilot that was launched in January 2019. Local schools in the Royal Borough are at the forefront of the 1st phase of the pilot and will be able to benefit from a share of a £50k fund. Recycling kiosks have been installed in 16 schools across the Borough and Pupils are being incentivised to recycle their plastic bottles at school and for every bottle collected, the school will receive a 5p donation, to a maximum of 40,000 bottles per school. The outcomes of the pilot will be published later this year and presented to DEFRA as primary evidence as the government consults on England’s future waste & recycling strategy.
Making this truly a community effort, the plastic bottles collected by litter picks organised by Maidenhead Matters have also been donated to the school. The volunteer group lead by Donna Stimson works across Maidenhead with the objective of keeping Maidenhead plastic & litter free, organizing a variety of activities including roving litter picks to improve the local environment.
Commenting on this milestone, Nick Stevens, Headteacher at Riverside Primary School said, “We really welcome this pilot as a rewarding and motivational approach to recycling as many plastic bottles as possible on the go. The pupils, parents and friends of the school, as well as the volunteers from Maidenhead Matters, have really got behind the opportunity and we’re proud to already be up to our 1,000th plastic bottle already. The kiosk that Greenredeem installed has become a real focal point, and our enthusiastic team of Eco-Warriors are taking the lead on processing the bottles that we collect…they are keen to Greenredeem! With the supporting lesson plans provided by Plastic Ocean Foundation UK we’re also able to create many links and discussion points across the curriculum.”