Why should our School become a Plastic Free School and what is a Trash Mob?

Eco Communities are the local representative for Surfers Against Sewage who certify schools as Plastic Free. We have worked as part of the Plastic Free Communities campaign since 2016, achieving Plastic Free Chester in 2018 and currently supporting, Neston, Tattenhall, Frodsham and Ellesmere Port to achieve Plastic Free Community status with an overall aim of Plastic Free Cheshire. 

We have provided talks and workshops in schools around the region including Northwich, Chester and Tattenhall. And also supported the first Plastic Free School in the region Grosvenor Park Academy, Chester. 

We are asking schools to take action during British Science Week. From 10-17th March.

This involves encouraging schools to join others across the whole UK to hold a ‘Trash Mob’ (basically a big clean up and Brand Audit 😊) 

Join us for a Nationwide TRASH MOB this March for British Science Week – Plastic Free Schools – Surfers Against Sewage

Is your school a Plastic Free School? If not, here is how  

Once you have done your Trash Mob why not take it to the next stage.  In the words of Greta Thunburgh, an environmental activist who started campaigning age 15.

‘you are never too small to make a difference’


So, What Is Plastic Free Schools?

Plastic Free Schools is a system shaking, change making, pupil-led education programme 

This ground-breaking programme equips and empowers young activists with the tools to create positive, lasting environmental change! 

Plastic Free Schools is a positive, investigative, action-packed programme for stopping plastic pollution at source. Empowering pupils to not only tackle unnecessary single-use plastics in their school, but inspires Industry and Government to make positive strategic steps in the same direction!



Plastic Pollution Facts – Knowledge Is Power!

From plastic pollution to habitat degradation and overfishing to climate change, the health of our oceans is extraordinarily fragile.

There’s a time and a place for stats and this is it! 

“People protect what they love. But they only love what they know” – Jacques Cousteau


• Plastic pollution can now be found on every beach in the world, from busy tourist beaches to uninhabited, tropical islands nowhere is safe.

• Scientists have recently discovered microplastics embedded deep in the Arctic ice.

• Every day approximately 8 million pieces of plastic pollution find their way into our oceans.

• There may now be around 5.25 trillion macro and microplastic pieces floating in the open ocean. Weighing up to 269,000 tonnes.

• Plastics consistently make up 60 to 90% of all marine debris studied.

• Approximately 5,000 items of marine plastic pollution have been found per mile of beach in the UK.

• Over 150 plastic bottles litter each mile of UK beaches.

• In the UK we use approximately 35 million single use bottles each day – 12 Billion per year

Unfortunately, marine wildlife are hugely affected by the plastic pollution entering our oceans:

• Recent studies have revealed marine plastic pollution in 100% of marine turtles, 59% of whales, 36% of seals and 40% of seabird species examined. 

• Marine litter kills over 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and 1 million sea birds each year through ingestion and entanglement. 

• 640,000 tonnes of lost or discarded fishing gear (known as ghost gear) enter the world’s oceans each year. Ghost gear kills at least 136,000 seals, sea lions and large whales every year worldwide!


The vast majority of this plastic pollution consists of single-use, throwaway items. A lot of the problem is created by billions of careless actions of people littering single use plastics. We need you to help us stem the flow, together we can make a HUGE positive impact to our communities and the places we love.

When it comes to protecting our oceans, knowledge is power, the more we know and the more people who know it, the better equipped we are. As of January 2021, there are 2,477 schools, and counting, signed up to be plastic free – that’s almost 1 millions pupils across the UK!!

To achieve Plastic Free Schools status, schools will have to work towards five objectives.

• OBJECTIVE 1: UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM – It is time to resist this plastic flood. If you don’t act who on earth will? 

STEP 1: Form a Plastic Free Action Group

STEP 2: Gather evidence that avoidable single-use plastics are a problem in your school

STEP 3: Conduct an investigation on your school campus

• OBJECTIVE 2: CAMPAIGN LAUNCH  – Officially launch your Plastic Free Schools campaign by presenting a school assembly and publishing a news article on your school website or in your school newsletter!

• OBJECTIVE 3: STEMMING THE FLOW  – Time to get stuck in! Identify at least three single-use plastic items found in your school investigation and come up with necessary steps in how to remove them from your school, forever!

• OBJECTIVE 4: CHALLENGING GOVERNMENT– Never underestimate the power of your voice. Using everything you have learnt so far, write a letter to your local MP.  Your local MP has been chosen to represent YOU and the community you live in. Let’s put them to work and ask for their support!

• OBJECTIVE 5: CHALLENGING INDUSTRY – Industry spends a lot of time and money making themselves and their products look good. More often than not it is the branded products that we find littering our playgrounds, streets, woodlands, and beaches. It’s time they stepped up and took their share of the responsibility.

Eco Communities would love to support any school in the Cheshire area looking to achieve plastic free status, so please get in touch office@sustainablecheshire.uk

Published by plasticfreenorthener

I’m a partner and Ethical Financial Adviser, I’m Director of Eco Community UK Community Interest Company which I set up to help individuals and businesses be more sustainable.

2 thoughts on “Why should our School become a Plastic Free School and what is a Trash Mob?

  1. This is a fabulous-looking initiative- well-structured and ambitious, but seems relatively achievable. My only criticism is that because schools are so busy, with such a packed curriculum (eg just had World Book Day/ week to contend with) that in my experience it takes at least couple of months of warning to introduce something new- the longer the better really- at least at primary level.


    1. They can do a Trash Mob at any time which I’d Surfers Against Sewage initiative and start Plastic Free Schools, so even if too late to do it in that week they can do it later.

      I think Surfers have just used the Science Week as a way to promote the Plastic Free Schools project…


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