The Glasgow Academy has announced its intention to become the city’s first plastic-free school amid Council plans to be rid of all “unnecessary plastic” by 2030.
On the back of a 500-signature petition instigated by students taking part in the WildHearts Micro-Tyco programme, the Glasgow Academy announced the ban in early November on the sale of all single-use plastic bottles across its Prep and Senior campuses. These will be replaced by reusable school-branded water bottles.
It followed a successful trial run during Zero Waste Week in September, when the sale of single-use plastic bottles during lunchtimes was halted for the second year in a row.
The water bottle vending machine in the Senior School lunch hall has now been permanently removed and replaced by boxed water from the tuck shop. Other efforts to reduce plastics include the banning of polystyrene cups during parents’ evenings.
Pupil representatives and school staff are now exploring ways to eliminate single-used plastic from catering and other supply chains.
“We have a long way to go yet to being completely free of plastic – this is the start of a journey,” The Glasgow Academy Rector Matthew Pearce said. “But this is a great example of students taking the lead on an issue that is important to them, and enacting changes that will make a difference.”
The move by the school comes as Glasgow City Council launches a 24-point action plan to phase out single use plastics by 2022. The target thereafter is to rid the city of all “unnecessary plastic” by 2030.
Key measures include: a feasibility study on the city-wide ban of certain plastic items; developing Glasgow’s first plastic-free shopping zone; increasing the number of free top-up taps for reusable water bottles; supporting projects to remove plastics from the city’s waterways; and exploring the possibility of Glasgow’s first plastic-free school.
The Glasgow Academy is working in partnership with WildHearts Group, the B2B enterprise dedicated to global social change, to develop a purpose-driven entrepreneurial culture within the school. The Academy has been awarded Gold Level WildHearts School accreditation, and in June of last year hosted the world’s first WildHearts Global Entrepreneurial Leaders Junior Summit.