the weekly newsletter from EHS
05 February 2021
On Wednesday 3rd February 2021, the girls in the Senior School enjoyed an inspiring academic lecture by Niharika Manu, an ambassador for Greenpeace.She delivered a fascinating presentation focusing on why we should reduce our plastic use, the work that Greenpeace do and what we can do as individuals.
We learnt that 30 million tonnes of plastic enter the world's oceans each year and it can be found anywhere, from the highest point (Mount Everest) to the deepest point (Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean). There are many islands of plastic waste in our world's oceans, the largest in the Pacific Ocean which is called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is three times the size of France and is made completely of plastic waste. This is because only nine percent of the world's plastic waste is recycled, most plastic waste either ends up in land fill sites or in our oceans. As lots of plastic is in our oceans, animals are getting tangled and are eating the plastic, this means it could get into our food chains because of the fish we eat.
Greenpeace are trying to tackle the plastic problems. In 2019, 13 rivers across the UK were tested for micro plastics, sadly all had them. The River Mersey in Lancashire had the most micro plastics and it was proportionally more polluted than The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Greenpeace also did a survey on the different supermarkets and how much plastic they use in their products. They found that Waitrose used the least amount of plastic. In 2019, Sainsbury’s were one of the worst shops for plastic use but because of Greenpeace’s campaign on reducing plastic helped change their mind, they were near the top in 2020.
You can try to help by using your consumer power. If we make trends using things that are reusable such as reusable water bottles, reusable face masks and loose fruit and vegetables. You can also shop at stores that are plastic free such as Lush. There are also zero waste stores such as The Clean Kilo. There are 2 Clean Kilo branches in Birmingham (one in Bourneville and one in Digbeth). You can also use your sphere of influence so you can influence people to do the right thing so there is minimal plastic waste.
We are extremely grateful to Niharika for bringing such an amazing experience to our school and answering all of our questions with great enthusiasm.
By Tiffany Latham, 7S
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