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Reducing plastic waste

Reducing plastic waste in the canteen

My little sister, Yassine, wrote a proposal to her school canteen committee about reducing plastic waste in the canteen. They didn’t do much in 2019 when she wrote, but they have now agreed to work on it with the Year 5 and 6 environment team. Since she’s on that team, she is hoping to get more action in 2020.

This proposal is to reduce plastic waste from the canteen.

For lunches that are made in the canteen and sold in portions, we could have reusable containers instead of single use plastic.

Either kids could bring their own containers from home to school, or the canteen could sell standard reusable containers.

If kids bring their own containers from home, the canteen staff could just put in a standard measure (eg. a standard ladle) of food, no matter what size the container.

Kids bringing reusable containers would have to bring their clean labelled containers to the canteen when they come to school so that the canteen staff have time to fill them in the morning. Then kids would take their containers home to wash after school.

To encourage people to use reusable containers, perhaps the canteen could give them a small credit each time they use a reusable container, or the canteen could charge 20 cents or 50 cents extra to people who don’t bring their own container.

By Yassine

These are the notes that she has taken:

Here are the existing types of packaging and single use plastic in the canteen.

. plastic forks

. cling wrap for carrot sticks

. hard plastic containers for frozen grapes

. plastic lids and waxed paper cups (non recyclable) for frozen yoghurt

. soft plastic juice stick wrappers

. hard plastic containers for fruit salad

. Tetra paks for just juice

. milk cartons

. plastic containers for spag bol

. plastic containers for salads

. hard foil packs for mac and cheese

. soft plastic for cruiser pies

. soft plastic for sausage rolls

The ones in bold are commercially bought so probably can’t be changed without changing the supplier and the product.

For the others, here are some suggestions.

  1. Bring your own containers for spag bol, salads, fruit salads and frozen grapes. If possible, the canteen could raise the prices of these items by 50 cents, then give a 50 cent credit back to everyone who brings their own container. Containers would have to be clearly labelled and taken to the canteen before school. 
  1. We could also have a container library for people who forget and after the person finishes their lunch, they have to bring the container back. We could also put out a bin for the containers but they will have to be washed.
  1. If a container library is too hard, we could have compostable or recyclable cardboard boxes like (local cafe).
  1. For the carrots, we could just have carrots without the cling wrap.
  1. We could have people bring in forks instead of having plastic forks.

If having people bringing in forks is too hard, we could have wooden forks instead of plastic ones.

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