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Dunblane School Scoops International Green Award

Students at St Mary’s Episcopal Primary School in Dunblane today received a European award, presented by Alyn Smith MEP, for their ‘Food Waste Reduction Challenge’ organised as part of  European Week for Waste Reduction 2010.

1 Jun 11

The event, one of over 4,300 taking place across Europe during the Week last November, saw students from the school’s Eco Committee separating and weighing the food and packaging waste produced at lunchtime and running an education campaign at the school to help help pupils, staff and parents see the importance of reducing their waste. This has since enabled the school to halve the quantity of food waste that they produce.

Alyn Smith, MEP, said: ‘It was a real honour to present the school with their well-deserved international award. Raising awareness about waste reduction and promoting changes in production and consumption patterns is more urgent than ever. European Week for Waste Reduction is a great way of getting people thinking of new ways to reuse waste.  I would like to encourage people to follow in St Mary's eco footsteps and do their bit to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill and save some money in the process.’

Mary Paterson, Head Teacher at St Mary’s, said:  ‘The children were delighted to be chosen as the winners of this award.  While learning about the United Nations Convention on The Right of The Child, which includes the right of all children to have access to  clean water and nutritious food, the children at St Mary’s realised that not everyone is as fortunate as they are. They decided that with their right to good food came the responsibility not to waste it. The Eco Committee started a campaign to highlight the amount of food wasted, which included weighing the waste and reminding all children that they should eat what they are given. The school also has a commitment to sustainability and alongside reducing the amount of food waste they highlighted the importance of cutting down on packaging.’

The European Week for Waste Reduction, which is supported by the European Commission, promotes waste reduction across Europe. During the 2010 week, 4,346 actions took place across twenty-four countries. A recent ceremony in Brussels saw awards given out in six different categories, with St Mary’s Episcopal Primary School winning the ‘Best action by an education establishment’ category. To find out more about taking part in the 2011 week (19th – 27th November), visit www.zerowastescotland.org.uk.

Betsy Reed, Head of Campaigns at Zero Waste Scotland, national organisers for the European Week for Waste Reduction in Scotland, said: ‘90 million tonnes of food is wasted across the European Union each year with around 2 million tonnes in Scotland.  The food we all waste at home costs us an average of £430 a year.  The Food Waste Reduction Challenge at St Mary’s is an excellent example of how we can take real steps towards Scotland becoming a zero waste society.’

Derek Robertson, Chief Executive at Keep Scotland Beautiful, which works in partnership with the Scottish Government to deliver the Eco-Schools programme in Scotland said: ’The pupils and staff at St Mary’s have shown just how committed Scotland’s young people are to tackling the environmental challenges facing the world today. The actions they took to reduce their food waste formed part of a wider committment at  St Mary’s to environmental excellence through their participation in the Eco-Schools programme, and Keep Scotland Beautiful is delighted to confirm that the school successfully renewed its Eco-Schools Green Flag Award status in November 2010.’

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