Students at Sevenoaks Schools has set up a project to reduce the school’s plastics footprint, called ZERO Plastics. So far, the campaign has prevented over 15,000 bottles from being used.
In late 2017, the student-led initiative ZERO Plastics set up a campus-wide campaign to reduce the number of plastic bottles being provided with packed lunches and for students attending sports fixtures. They met with the school’s PE and catering departments to put forward their proposals.
They suggested that each pupil should receive their own reusable aluminium bottle, so that the catering department did not have to provide single-use bottles for every match or lunchtime training session. They also proposed that new drinking water fountains be installed within the school’s sports facility, The Sennocke Centre, and drinking water taps across campus, to enable the filing of bottles, as the existing fountains were not equipped to do this.
When the proposals were accepted, the students liaised with the school’s estates department to choose the water stations with the appropriate design and functionality.
After the drinking water points were installed during August, the students began work on designing reusable bottles that will be provided to all Sevenoaks students. The catering team have agreed that once students have been issued with their reusable bottle, they will stop the provision of plastic bottles.
Since the water stations have been in use, the school has prevented the use and waste of 15,000 (300ml) plastic bottles.
Lower sixth student Rhiannon Durant commented: “Hopefully our work to lessen Sevenoaks School’s plastic waste will contribute to a culture shift in our staff and student community, creating an environment that is more conscious of the impact of today’s decisions on our future.”