September 9, 2019
A selective girls’ school in Melbourne is taking the impressive step of banning all rubbish bins from campus, requiring students to pack reusable lunch containers or take any trash they generate home with them.
The aim is to teach Melbourne Girls’ College students to take responsibility for their rubbish while also encouraging families to consider purchasing goods with less packaging when planning school lunches. The new system will come into action next week, with the school also setting up a token system to reward students consistently using reusable packaging with prizes.
The move comes following a waste audit conducted by the school this year, which found it sent about 954 cubic metres of trash to landfill in 2018 at a cost of $13,000. Since then the school sustainability team had been consulting with parents and students on the idea of adopting a bin ban for over six months.
Paula McIntosh, a teacher at the school, told Guardian Australia the move was as much about sending a message as it was about teaching students about waste.
“Avoid, reuse, responsibility, they’re our hashtags for this whole thing,” McIntosh said.
“We’re making a statement to manufacturers that we would like our stuff packaged less and in biodegradable compostable packaging, thank you very much.”
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Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.