On 11 May, Eco-Schools students at St. Mary's Catholic Primary School in Maidenhead, England were joined by British Prime Minister Theresa May for the launch of the Great Plastic Pick Up. The Great Plastic Pick Up is a campaign created by the Daily Mail and FEE National Operator in England Keep Britain Tidy with the goal to "turn the tide on plastic." From 11-13 May, 12,000 volunteers at 1,100 sites across the United Kingdom removed tonnes of plastic and other litter from the UK's streets, beaches, and beauty spots.
Theresa May's visit was not the first time that St. Mary's has been singled out for its commitment to environmental education. On 13 March, the school was chosen from among hundreds of nominees as the winner of The Greenest School Award at the first ever Green Heart Hero Awards ceremony at the Houses of Parliament in London. The school has also been awarded five green flags over the course of its ten years of participation in the Eco-Schools programme.
St. Mary's was not the only Eco-School to get involved in the Great Plastic Pick Up. Many Eco-Schools students from the 18,400 registered Eco-Schools across England organised their own litter pick ups in conjunction with the campaign. In an effort to further expand its environmental education curriculum, Eco-Schools England will launch the Marine and Coast theme on 4 June. Since plastic pollution poses a significant threat to the environmental health of marine and coastal zones, the Great Plastic Pick Up was an opportunity for Eco-Schools students to get an early start on activities related to the Marine and Coast theme. Check out the hashtag #GreatPlasticPickUp on social media to see some of their activities.
Thumbnail image: Keep Britain Tidy