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Litter

The children in Green Gang were keen to do yet another community litter pick. Collecting the bags of rubbish took about 30 minutes, but looking at what we collected, and figuring out what we could do to tackle the problem of litter took quite a few lunch hours.

On Thursdays the upper juniors walk 900m to the Barn for sports and the members of Green Gang said that they could collected litter en-route.

We again got all the tabards and litter pickers ready and persuaded an adult to volunteer to come along with us. We came in earlier and made a start on our route, collecting almost two bag full of rubbish. In fact there was so much rubbish that we could not carry the bags. and had to get them collected by car later on. We worked very hard and got to the Barn ready for lots of fun, running climbing and having fun!

Again the overwhelming majority of litter was drinks cartons.This increased as we went along the sports fields where players and spectators dropped bottle and cans. There was a bin not sure if its a dog poo bin or litter bin but it had been set fire to which reminds us that a lot of the plastic bottle littering the place can be a fire risk too.

We only found one pile of old dog poo on the pathway. This was another surprise as there is often lots more when we go along Arles Rd etc.The other surprise was again the lack of the expanded polystyrene chip boxes as we normally see far more on the streets.

Whilst we were back in class we got one of the adult volunteers to sort the rubbish and then at lunchtime we looked at the rubbish we collected and tried to analyse what we had and also sort it by brand. Coke and Pepsi were the major brands. Not all of the cans bothered to say if they were aluminium or steel and we had to use a magnet to find out. It probably does not matter to most recycling depots but it would help us and

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

When it comes to having an immediately recognisable brand image its difficult to beat Mc Donalds, but that makes it very easy to spot amongst litter and give the brand a negative image. We are a few miles away from the nearest Mc Donalds on on this litter pick had collected just 4 meal bags (each had a carton,chip box, Mc Flurry or apple pie wrapper & paper napkins inside but at least they were in a bag) and 3 drinks. The company does regular litter picks around their stores to make them look neat and clean, that is good business but we thought about the wider community and what it does to help combat litter. Macie said "We looked at the anti litter messages and recycling codes on the Mc Donalds wrappers, on some there wasn't any, on the drinks cups the anti litter logo took up just a quarter of one percent! But we do not know if they can be recycled or not as there are no codes on the lids, is the paper cups recyclable?"

Caitlyn looked at the company's website about Litter & Packaging & corporate literature Best of Green available online, and we then all looked at what it said compared to the litter we had actually collected in the street. Last year 2009, Keep Britain Tidy named Mc Donalds as the worst branded litter in cities making up to a third in city centres and urged more point of sales anti litter messages.

The children in Green Gang all liked the 'Mc Litter logo' saying it was funny, but the sad fact was it was the first time that they had ever seen it, and they are not exactly strangers of Mc Donalds, worse was that none of them could tell remember seeing any anti litter messages in store.

We again all worked together trying to think of what facts we wanted to know and put together a number of questions to Mc Donalds in a letter.

If you have any ideas as to what we could do please let us know.

We use our newsletter to tell parents and the school community about our work, we also stand up in assembly too so other pupils and teachers know what we are doing and why. We often make posters and brainstorm ideas to make anti litter and environmental messages that are displayed throughout the school- nothing new or original there- but we do try and encourage the children to work through the ideas so that they will do several posters looking at them each time in a critical way seeing how we can improve them. After all "Only our best is good enough!"

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