STUDENTS at Melrose Primary School got a first hand look at the impact plastics are having on the environment on Tuesday, and pledged to reduce, reuse, refuse and recycle.
New Border-based environmental group Plasticwise Wodonga, working with Anthony Hill from Plastic Pollution Solutions, are presenting to schools in Wodonga thanks to funding from the Wodonga Council.
The group is aiming to reduce the reliance on disposable plastic – and Mr Hill said it starts with the kids.
“It’s about making kids aware of the issue, and the enormity of it, but equally that the solution is in our hands,” he said.
“There aren’t many problems where a child can know they can have direct control over it in their everyday life.
“This is one of them, and it’s one of the reasons I enjoy doing what I do.”
The interactive sessions educate students on causes, impacts and solutions to plastic pollution, as well as emphasising the importance of reducing the use of disposable plastic in the coming years.
Melrose students also did a litter sampling of their school grounds, where they were shown how to sort and count rubbish found in the schoolyard and enter it into the National Litter Index.
“This is a very clean school, but I guarantee when you look really closely, you’ll see all sorts of stuff,” Mr Hill said.
“It demonstrates to the kids that they have to look under the buildings, in the bushes, because any tiny bit of plastic can end up in the drain, then into the Murray River and heading out to sea.
“You have to be aware of how much there is , and what there is.
“Teaching this sort of stuff is extremely important, but in a lot of ways I feel sorry for the next generation.
“It was my generation, our parents generation, their parents that caused the problem – this generation has been born into it.
“If we'd been taught this stuff when we were children, we wouldn't have these problems.
“They grow up with this new consciousness where we're aware of the impact we're having on the environment.
“They're also learning to value the stuff we have in everyday life.”
Plasticwise is presenting a free screening of A Plastic Ocean at The Cube from 6:30 on Friday night.