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Local pupils tackle plastic waste issue in Parliament

Posted on 24 June 2014

Pupils from two West Sussex schools told high-level politicians and industry leaders how they thought plastic waste could be reduced.

The children, from Seaside Primary School in Lancing, and Waterfield Primary School in Crawley, were finalists in a nationwide competition run by Wastebuster - a waste education programme available to all primary schools. It is funded in West Sussex by the County Council and District and Borough councils.

Over 18,000 entries were received – and just 20 schools were shortlisted, including the two West Sussex primary schools.

The competition was part of the Wastebuster Primary Earth Summit 2014, which was a satellite event of the annual European Green Week.

Pupils were asked to explore and design practical solutions for plastic waste minimisation.

These were to be evaluated across four categories: Education and Awareness; Collection System Improvement; Marine Environment; and Product Design and Innovation.

The finalists were then invited to present their ideas to a panel of high-profile politicians, scientists, NGOs and industry leaders in Westminster on Monday, June 16.

Seaside Primary School and Waterfield Primary Schools reached the finals of the ‘Education and Awareness’ category and ‘Collection Systems’ category, respectively.

Seaside Primary School created a plastic bottle octopus, designed to highlight the problems marine litter can cause for sea creatures, intended for display on beaches around the country. 

Waterfield Primary School from Crawley put forward a Swan poster concept, woven into a fence using plastic bags to be used to raise awareness of the problems plastic causes for wildlife and the need to recycle or dispose of plastic waste responsibly.

Two pupils from West Wittering Parochial C.E. School, Chichester, were invited to attend the 2014 Summit and were awarded a ‘Special Recognition Award’ for their outstanding display of initiative having completed an entry outside of school, which they submitted with the help of their teacher.

Lionel Barnard, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services, said: “The Wastebuster project is a fantastic environmental education programme.

“It gives schools, pupils and parents a really unique way of addressing the issue of waste, and encourages them to be more environmentally-aware.

“The fact that two of our West Sussex schools were finalists is a phenomenal achievement for everyone involved.

“It is extremely inspiring and I think all of the children who contributed to this project should be very proud of their accomplishments.”

To find out more about the Wastebuster project, please visit