Recycling effort bags reward

Esther Lauaki

Students at a Sunshine primary school now have a permanent reminder of the importance of recycling thanks to a donation by Melbourne Water.

A seat, made out of recycled plastic, now sits inside the school gardens with a plaque featuring the wording ‘this seat prevented 21,250 plastic bags from entering into Kororoit Creek and Port Phillip Bay.’

The seat is a reward for the students at Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception for their involvement in Melbourne Water’s `Litter Action’ program and the work they’ve done with Friends of Kororoit Creek about the impacts litter has on their environment.

Teacher Joanne McManus said the students had driven the school’s sustainability message.

“We feel it is important for students to become active and informed citizens,” Ms McManus said.

“By starting locally with Kororoit Creek and Port Phillip Bay, our students can connect to their local environment and learn the impact of their actions.“

Melbourne Water’s Waterwatch co-ordinator Teresa Mackintosh said recycling bins have also been supplied to the 15 classrooms so students can introduce a recycling system into the school. These bins are colour-coded to teach students to sort and separate items. These are then emptied and taken away for recycling.

“Melbourne Water is committed to working with schools and the wider community to reduce litter in our waterways,” Dr Mackintosh said.

“It’s been fantastic to see the passion the students at Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception have for their litter action program. It’s given them a greater understanding of the impact rubbish can have on the environment.

“Litter is everyone’s responsibility. If you see rubbish around your local rivers and creeks, pick it up and bin it.”

As part of the school’s sustainability program, students carried out an audit of rubbish in their neighbourhood and planted 500 trees at the Friends of Kororoit Creek `Bug Rug’ site in Sunshine, a popular community gathering area.