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Environment

David Attenborough Sent a Letter Praising These Welsh School Kids


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Broadcaster and everyone’s favourite anti-plastic spokesperson David Attenborough has sent a handwritten letter congratulating pupils at a Welsh primary school. 

Children at Waunfawr Primary School, in Crosskeys, Caerphilly, have been busy tackling plastic. And their latest, and biggest, step is to replace their plastic milk cartons with glass bottles. 

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“When I looked into it I was very concerned about how it affected sea creatures and how they may become extinct,” one of the pupils, Megan, told the BBC

Another, Phoebe, said: “We don’t really use plastic in our house now because we know what happens to the creatures.”

Previously, the school had been getting about 14,000 third-pints of milk a year in plastic bottles, according to teacher Rhiannon Burghan — and the bottles were delivered in cases of 12 that were also wrapped in plastic. 

The children will also be receiving an environmental accolade — called the Green Apple award — at the Houses of Parliament in November. They’re the first in Wales to receive the award, reported the Caerphilly council, and the fourth in Britain as a whole. 

Two children from each group from year two to year six are on the school’s eco-committee, which is behind the anti-plastic effort. The children contacted Caerphilly County Borough Council and asked them to swap to glass bottles instead. 

The council agreed, and the school will be trialling the initiative for a year — with the children getting their first bottles this week. 

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When the children began their plan, they “wrote to a range of people, councillors, MPs, David Attenborough, and he wrote back to acknowledge and to praise the work that the children were doing in their fight against plastic pollution, which was really fantastic,” according to Burghan, speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Wales

“The children absolutely love having the milk out of the glass bottles,” she added. “Their response is that it’s the best milk they’ve ever tasted, it’s colder, it tastes fresher. So it’s all very, very positive at the moment.” 

For health and safety reasons, the children aren’t handling the glass bottles themselves — but their teachers pour out the milk, and the bottles are stored away from the children. 

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And they “definitely” don’t use any plastic straws, added Burghan. 

The school is now reportedly looking for other areas where they can cut out plastic, and is aiming to entirely eliminate single-use plastics. 

Cllr. Philippa Marsden, cabinet member for education and achievement, said in a statement: "Staff and children at the school have shown great commitment to reducing plastic waste and are leading the way with their glass milk bottle scheme. I wish them every success in running this pilot scheme over the coming months and thrilled to hear that they have been rewarded for all their efforts with the Green Apple award."