Plastic-Free Schools

Education for Sustainability was the inspiration for the first plastic-free school in Ireland.
We have created a successful step-by-step method for your school to achieve this too.

We offer 2 dynamic workshops that examine the causes and effects of single-use plastic and guide your students to becoming part of the solution to the problem.
The workshops encourage students to take initiative, to educate their peers
and to campaign to be plastic-free.

Workshop One:
An Introduction

Introduction to the origins, causes and effects of the plastic crisis in the world and an exploration of the myriad ways that we can all turn back the tide on plastic pollution, with simple solutions that can eliminate plastic in our everyday lives.

Workshop Two:
Leadership

Students will be taught to run a plastic-free workshop that they will then in turn teach to the other students in school. This peer-led method system will, step-by-step, progress your school to being a plastic-free campus. 

Schools Toolkit

Sign up for one or both of our workshops and receive our comprehensive Plastic-Free Schools Toolkit.

Case Study

Ireland’s first Plastic-Free School

In 2018, Newpark Comprehensive School became Ireland’s first single- use plastic-free school. This was the result of a student-led campaign, inspired by the Education for Sustainability 8-week transition year module. 

FIRST STEPS 

The module offered the students a platform to take action on an environmental topic that was important to them. 14 students worked together to rid their school of single-use plastic by designing a strategic campaign that worked with school stakeholders and that targeted every level of the school community and related businesses The students focus for the campaign was plastic bottles and packaging in the school canteen. They mapped out their campaign by identifying tasks and dividing them up in relation to each students’ strengths and skills. To assess the problem with plastic in school the students did a ‘bin audit’ to measure the problem and as a baseline measure for improvement. A survey team surveyed parents, staff and students.

ACTION-BASED SOLUTIONS

A petitions team collected 800 signatures to suport a plastic-free school. They also sent the petitions to the relevant government ministers. The presentations team pitched to the teachers, Parent Teachers Association and to the Board of Management. The canteen team researched plastic-free solutions to packaging and liaised with the canteen manager during the transition. The student social media team led a communications campaign and a separate artwork team designed awareness and information posters. 

The students’ campaign was a momentous success, one that created a chain reaction in schools across Ireland, with the Newpark campaign model being since replicated in 44 other schools to date. 

Need support to transition your school to be a plastic-free campus?

Testimonials