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Schools' Litter Initiative gets underway

How long does it take for an apple core to biodegrade? Can polystyrene be recycled? These were just a couple of examples of the questions put to pupils at Galston Primary School this week as the East Ayrshire Litter in Schools initiative was officially launched.

Pupils from primaries 4 to 7 at Galston Primary School participated in an interactive presentation, delivered by Councillor Sally Cogley, chairperson for the Clean, Green and Vibrant member/officer working group at East Ayrshire Council.

The presentation featured images of a number of locations across East Ayrshire, with and without litter, and pupils were asked to choose which community they would prefer to live in.

The youngsters had an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge on the subject of litter by joining in a lively question and answer session, before leading a mini litter-pick around the playground, with representatives from the member/officer working group in attendance including Councillors McMahon, Mair and Freel, joined by Nick Kelly from Outdoor Services and Brian Murphy from Environmental Health.

Following an initial pilot programme at Loudoun Academy previously, the Litter in Schools initiative is now being rolled out to all primary feeder school within the Loudoun Academy catchment area.

Councillor Cogley said: “Environmental issues are high on the agenda at the moment, particularly among young people. The purpose of these events is to make youngsters aware that they do have a choice and that their actions can make a huge difference.

“As our question and answer session demonstrated this morning, they have a good awareness and understanding of the impact that littering has on our communities and the environment in general.

“P6 pupils from Galston Primary have been very enthusiastic and they have produced a short video, entitled ‘Think, stop, don’t drop!’ to help highlight the risks of littering.

“By involving pupils in this initiative, we hope to spread the word and change behaviours and attitudes towards littering in our communities.”

Pupils in all Loudoun feeder schools have been asked to design posters as part of a competition, themed ‘A litter-free journey to school’, which will see the winning entries displayed in Fenwick, Newmilns, Darvel, Galston and Hurlford.