RHS pupils prevent plastic pollution in local woodland

Members of Royal Hospital School’s eco committee filled three bags with fallen plastic tree collars near the village of Butley Low Corner

Pupils at a Suffolk independent school have been doing their bit for area upkeep by picking up plastic waste near the village of Butley Low Corner.

The 11-15-year-olds – each a member of the eco committee at Royal Hospital School (RHS), near Ipswich – joined forces with the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) working party to organise the collection of plastic collars fallen from growing trees.

Three heavy duty bags were filled with the tree guards, a fraction of the hundreds of thousands used every year and which, if left uncollected, will degrade into micro-pieces of polluting plastic.

“Although it was hard work, everyone involved thoroughly enjoyed the experience,” said one of the waste pickers, Polly Fitch.

“The bags of plastic collars were collected by the landlord that day and will be recycled for future use. It is a great feeling knowing that we have done something to help protect the local environment.”

Neil Lister, countryside projects officer with the AONB, was impressed by the team of helpers.

“It was an absolute pleasure to work with such a motivated, polite and cheerful group,” he said.

“Everyone has the opportunity to work to make the AONB and the environment better and the pupils grasped that opportunity – and the tree guards – with both hands. Thank you RHS. We hope you will be back!”

From the archive: The head of Brighton College outlines why he’s banning plastic at the school

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