Exeter Primary pupils speak up to council about plastic waste

FROM THE HEART: West Tamar mayor Christina Holmdahl with 10 pupils from Exeter Primary School who visited the council. Picture: supplied
FROM THE HEART: West Tamar mayor Christina Holmdahl with 10 pupils from Exeter Primary School who visited the council. Picture: supplied

Primary school pupils have convinced councillors to stop contributing to plastic pollution.

Grade 3 and 4 pupils from Exeter Primary School visited the West Tamar Council’s workshop on July 17 with the aim to spread the message about the negative effects plastic waste can have on the environment.

Teacher David Duncan said it all started from a Behind the News program the class had watched about reducing plastic waste.

“The class watched the program, and then they asked to watch it again. It made a big impact,” he said.

The class researched and discussed the issue, and gained inspiration from the Straw No More campaign ran by 10-year-old Queensland student Molly Steer.

The campaign aims for people to pledge to stop using plastic straws by purchasing reusable straws, using paper straws, or saying no to plastic straws.

The class made posters to show their research on the issue, with the goal to convince adults to take the pledge for 30 days – or, permanently.

After seeing the pupils’ work, West Tamar councillor Peter Kearney suggested they make a visit to the council to attempt to convince his fellow councillors to take the pledge.

Mr Duncan said even though the class would be on school holidays, the pupils were still excited to head to the meeting to try and make a difference.

10 pupils from the class were randomly picked to visit the council accompanied by Mr Duncan.

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“Seeing them getting up there and public speaking in front of adults they’d never met [was amazing],” he said.

He said the pupils made very persuasive and convincing arguments to the councillors.

“They got up there on the day and they spoke from the heart,” he said.

“It was pretty incredible to watch.”

After their presentations the students passed out pledges to the councillors.

Seven councillors signed the pledges straight away.

Councillors encouraged the school to nominate for the 2018 Waste Not Awards for their efforts.

The Waste Not Awards aim to recognise and reward individuals, schools, or businesses who improved their waste management in the 2017/2018 financial year.

Applicants must be from the West Tamar, George Town, Launceston, Meander Valley, Northern Midlands, Dorset, or Break O’Day regions.

Entries opened on July 2 and will close on August 10. 

The pupils posters are now on display at the West Tamar Council chambers at Riverside.

  • To make the Straw No More pledge, visit www.strawnomore.org.