South African schools are leading by example and saying "no" to single-use plastic products on their grounds. These are just seven of the pioneering schools making a difference - because small actions can have a huge impact for the betterment of our environment!
Timour Hall Primary
Timour Hall Primary School realised that what starts as one action at their school can set into motion the actions and reactions of people far beyond, and have decided to take action so that their learners can carry a strong environmental message with them.
The school has begun taking action by drawing attention to the importance of personal responsibility by inviting Hayley McLellan of the Two Oceans Aquarium's Rethink the Bag campaign to talk to learners, eliminating single-use plastic bags, setting up school recycling monitors in each class and by taking part in interschool recycling competitions. Through various community workshops and recycling drives, Timour Hall is really living by their message, and we look forward to seeing what they accomplish!
La Rochelle Girls High
In celebration of World Environment Day 2018, themed "beat the plastic pollution”, La Rochelle Girls High declare their school premises a plastic shopping bag-free zone with the help of the Two Oceans Aquarium.
Since then, a school-based pledge has been created which learners, parents and teachers signed to help make this dream a reality. Signage the school's commitment to the Rethink the Bag movement has been added to the front gates of the school, as well as their email banner which many people click to find out more about the campaign, showing that there is a great interest in the plastic-free lifestyle.
The Grove Primary
The Grove Primary's path to going plastic shopping-bag free started with the kids of the school's eco club doing a simple calculation - the families of the children in their school were using almost a quarter of a million bag a year!
The kids, with the support of their parents, took action and contacted Hayley from the Two Oceans Aquarium to come to talk to the school and help guide them through this campaign. This talk, followed by posters, presentations and environmental awareness activities (including a plastic-free rap carried out by the Grade 3s) culminated with the total ban of single-use plastic bags at the school in 2018.
The Grove Primary continues to find new ways to lower their school's environmental footprint, such as regular "walk to school days", recycling competitions and even meeting Sarah Ferguson to talk about plastic Pollution.
Wynberg Girls High
Wynberg Girls High School took on the #RethinkTheBag campaign to become an environmentally conscious school, committed to reducing the impact of plastic on the environment. They officially banned single-use plastic bags on its property on 3 July 2018, thanks to efforts by their Enviro Girls.
Principal Shirley Harding had this to say during assembly:
“Every plastic bag we do not buy or use is one less in the blocked drain or the landfill site. I am asking all of you to start changing your mindset and get behind this project.
Sign the Pledge – I signed the pledge this morning as I wholeheartedly support this project, as does the school governing body who met last night.
Buy reusable bags, educate your family and friends – Wynberg Girls High School can lead the way!
Thank you to our Enviro Girls and their teachers for initiating this project – we are on board to support you.”
Prestwich Street Primary
In August 2017, Prestwich Street Primary officially introduced its Plastic Shopping Bag Free campaign, in collaboration with Hayley McLellan, the Aquarium's Environmental Campaigner, who drives Rethink the Bag. Teachers incorporated lessons about sustainability, and discussions involving the school's governing body and parents took place - resulting in all school families signing and returning a pledge to eliminate single-use shopping bags from their home life.
Deutsche Internationale Schule Kapstadt
DSK's plastic-bag free journey began in April 2018, with a "green action" assembly, to which the Aquarium's Rethink the Bag campaigner was invited. The school challenged its learners to design the ideal reusable shopping bag - with the winners bag put into production in time for the school to declare itself a plastic shopping bag-free zone in Plastic Free July.
The youth of DSK is continuing to show commitment to the reduction of single-use plastic products at their school. Their "Going Green Team" have hosted exposes, showcasing educational posters, films and activities about the environmental impact of plastic pollution, and the school is actively making ecobricks from their waste, collecting Rethink the Bag pledges and are currently designing reusable lunch boxes, and mugs to further reduce their waste!
Hoërskool D.F. Malherbe
On 9 March 2015, D.F. Malherbe High School celebrated its 60th birthday supported the Rethink The Bag campaign in a huge way - breaking the Guinness World Record of the longest chain of plastic bags. Learners collected 40 174 bags for recycling in order to set this world record (that's more than 15km!).
From October 2015, the school officially declared itself a single-use plastic shopping bag-free area, this no plastic bags being allowed on their premises at all. The school's motto is "Staan rotvas" (Stand firm), and their "Staan rotvas teen plastiek" (Stand firm against plastic) campaign has been widely supported by parents and the community.
Even though Plastic Free July is over, your school can take the challenge too and start the journey of going single-use plastic-free. Give us a call - we're here to help!