Last year we set out to eradicate Single Use Plastic from the school. Thanks to the support of the whole community, we have seen a tremendous reduction in a relatively short amount of time. We have gotten used to the absence of plastic in the cafeteria, at meetings, etc. The New Normal has effectively taken hold.
But there are still challenging events, such as the Marché de St. Nicolas, where stand holders from outside the school sell their goods. Last year more than 20 waste bags were produced by the end of the event, so this year we, i.e. the PTA, EcoCREW, our expert consultant Alexis McGivern and Service Technique, thought hard about how we could do better.
Our strategy contained the following components:
- The PTA would communicate to the stand holders that any plastics brought to the event, had to be taken home after, as there would be no waste bins or bags for general waste. And to the Marché attendees, the message was communicated, that waste could only be brought to the Eco-points, which were manned by students throughout the event.
- The Service Technique prepared these Eco-points, which consisted of trays on which the waste was clearly visible. The only containers were for drinking cans and glass bottles, and for food waste to be composted.
The outcome was a tremendous improvement on last year. At the end of the event only one, admittedly, pretty full, bin liner of general waste was filled. We spoke to the stand holders, who were most happy to comply and we expect that next year there will be no more plastics at all. Novae is happy to help vendors to procure biodegradable alternatives to plastics and we also expect to see more people to bring their own bowls, straws and cutlery. Whereas the EcoCREW did have to work hard during the event, it was easier than expected, as everybody complied and we received quite a few compliments on the initiative.
On the whole, a big win for the community and we are one step closer to our Eco-schools accreditation!
A massive thank you to the whole community and to Alexis McGivern, the PTA, Service Technique and EcoCREW in particular.
By: Jan Dijkstra,
Coordinator of Sustainability