Team Planet on a mission to clean up

St William's Primary School
​St William’s Team Planet members encouraged fellow students to get involved in keeping their school grounds free of plastic and other rubbish

IMPROVING the environment was a priority for the newly-formed Team Planet at St William's School, Grovely, on Clean Up Australia Day

The environmental group, which is made up of Year 5 students, encouraged their fellow students to go plastic free for the day and help keep the school's grounds clean by picking up rubbish.

Team Planet member Poppy Duncan said she thought the day went very well.

“We encouraged a few people to pick up rubbish, especially some Year 3 students who were really helpful," she said.

“I think the school looks much cleaner now.

“We also noticed quite a few people who had plastic free lunch boxes also."

In the lead up to Clean Up Australia Day the group put up a Facebook post, informed students and staff about the campaign over the school PA system and presented posters to each class.

They wanted to inform other students about the harmful affect plastic waste had on the environment and animals.

They also encouraged them not to include any plastic wrap or bags in lunchboxes and, instead, use reusable containers.

Year 5 teacher Claire Simpson said in term 1 the Year 5 students had been looking at waste in technology.

Claire said the students were set a design challenge of creating a prototype as a solution for a waste problem.

However, she said their thinking about waste and all the problems associated with it did not stop there.

“Some of the year 5s formed the new environment group which they named Team Planet," she said.

Claire said one of the group's first undertaking was to clean an out of bounds garden area where they eat lunch.

She said they wrote to the principal, Mrs (Roycelyn) Wilden, with photographic evidence and sought permission to clean the area up.

“This they felt was a great success and they had other out of bounds areas they were hoping to clean up," she said.

Claire said the group discussed a number of ideas to act on when they became aware about Clean Up Australia Day.

She said they settled on two issues, one, to encourage the school to go plastic free for the day and the second, to clean up the whole school of rubbish.

“They have been particularly disgusted at the information out there about plastic and that it is in our oceans and hurting our animals.

“They also decided to go out during play time and clean up the school, encourage other students to help clean up the school and talk to students about being plastic free and why all this was so important."

Claire said the Team Planet members were very proud of themselves and the effort put in by the whole school community on Clean Up Australia Day.

“They all felt the day went well.

“I had lots of reports from them about students across the school who had gone plastic free," she said.​​

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