STUDENTS and staff of Schull Community College have embarked on an ambitious environmental initiative to make their school free of single-use plastic by 2020.
In collaboration with their sister schools, one in Millstreet and one in Lesotho in South Africa, the students will make sculptures from plastic bottles that will be used to hold herbs for the school kitchen, canteen and the wider community. This continues the school’s effort and policy of sorting plastics and other recyclables.
‘Our recent twinning with Millstreet Community School is an unique adventure, where both schools are brought together as part of the Global Goals school programme to allow them share ideas and projects based around the Global Goals of Earth and Water,’ said a school spokesperson.
‘The second year students of both schools met at Schull Community College recently and took part in activities and workshops to learn from each other. This partnership will continue throughout the year with the Model United Nations programme and the school exchange students from Lesotho, Holland, France and Germany visiting in 2019.’
Mini companies and BT Young Scientists in the school are also involved in environmental projects based around the problem of plastics in their area.
‘One group are looking at the extent of macro plastics on our local beaches and how to address the problem at source. While another group are investigating the presence of micro plastics in different fish species.’
Their projects follow the success of sixth year student Fionn Ferriera, whose project at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Competition earlier this year investigated the removal of micro plastics from waste water. Fionn then went on to represent Ireland at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, where he picked up three awards and even got an asteroid named after him.
Schull also picked up an award at recent environmental awards for its community garden.