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Eight in ten Brits are actively trying to reduce the amount of plastic they throw away. Schools are no exception and are a great place to harness young people’s enthusiasm for having a positive impact on the environment. So if you are a pupil, parent, guardian, teacher or school staff member read on to hear our top tips for reducing single-use plastic in your school.

1) Make reusable water bottles​ part of school culture

Find a reusable bottle that suits your daily routine so that you always remember to leave the house with this vital accessory. Fill your water bottle as part of your morning routine and leave it in your bag so you can’t forget it.

2) Find refill points

Discover your school's refill station and the 20,000 refill points across the UK. You can find drinking water on the go and cut down on plastic pollution by always carrying your reusable bottle. Download the free refill app here to find your nearest refill station next time you’re out.

3) Cut out single-use straws and dessert pots

Paper, metal and silicone straws are readily available from mainstream retailers, however no straws are needed if you focus on rehydrating with your reusable water bottle.  More durable containers will save you money in the long run as well as significantly reduce the amount of plastic you throw away.

4) Switch to metal cutlery

When it comes to lunchboxes bring in some metal cutlery wrapped in a napkin from home or invest in one of the many travel cutlery sets currently available. In the canteen, talk to the canteen manager about saving money in the long term by switching from disposable cutlery.

5) Switch to reusable sandwich wraps (not just tin foil)

Cling film currently cannot be recycled in the UK, so get creative with alternatives: tin foil, reusable containers, reusable cotton-wax wraps, reusable sandwich bags – with so many options enjoy working out the best one for you.

6) Bring back mugs 

Rather than serving up hot drinks in disposable coffee cups, find a quick win at each parent event or staffroom meeting by serving the hot drinks in mugs – buy them in a second hand shop or promote the school’s ethos with some bespoke branded options.

7) Reward notebook care

Looking after your notebooks is the best way to go plastic free, but if you really feel your notebook will not survive try reusable plastic covers or going old school by wrapping them in brown paper, alternatively create your very own personalised covers.

8) Create a reusable “party kit”

Rather than spending money on disposable cups and plates (that normally have a plastic coating) for every event, invest in a durable set of plates, cups and tablecloths that can be used time and time again. The parents association could even cover the costs by renting the set out for pupil birthday parties – saving even more plastic from going to landfill!

9) Invite plastic reduction experts to school

There are so many individuals making truly inspirational plastic changes, search your neighbourhood for experts who can share their ideas with your school community. Reducing plastic is made so much more interesting when everyone realises they are not the only ones committed to making a positive difference.

10) Create and empower your own Plastic Pioneer committee

There is no one more committed to creating a better future than young people. Empower pupils by creating a Plastic Pioneer committee in your school.

Find out about the Plastic Pioneers campaign