Saturday 20 July 2019

Tour 'recycle' idea launched in school

Stock picture
Stock picture

Alan O'Keeffe

Water bottles that are completely biodegradable are replacing all single-use plastic bottles at a Dublin girls' school.

The environment-friendly action at Mount Sackville Secondary School in Chapelizod was suggested by new deputy principal Dr Orla Walsh.

It got an enthusiastic response from pupils and parents.

The deputy principal said the girls regularly refill bottles with filtered water but many of them were single use plastic bottles which are not suitable for re-use.

The new biodegradable bottles can be re-used safely throughout the school year and help protect the environment, she said.

She was inspired by reports of biodegradable bottles being used by cyclists in the Tour de France.

Dr Walsh said the bottles degrade fully within five years if they end up in the natural environment.

"We are one of the first schools in Ireland to do this," she said.

Each pupil will receive one free biodegradable bottle with the school crest.

Extra biodegradable bottles can be purchased for €5, with €1 from each sale going to fund the fight against breast cancer.

The new bottle will be launched by Coastwatch Europe founder and ecologist Karin Dubsky at a ceremony in the school on Friday.

"This is about being stewards of the future of the planet. It's for the girls' great-grandchildren," said Dr Walsh.

"People should stop using single-use plastic bottles. By re-using a biodegradable bottle, then you are doing something brilliant for the earth.

"In our school, we have no crisps, no chips, just all healthy foods and only water to drink," she said.

She said single-use plastic bottles were not designed to be used more than once as the materials used in the manufacture of the single-use bottles were not suitable for constant refilling.

"I also feel strongly that there is so much plastic in our oceans already," she said.

The biodegradable water bottle was sourced in the Netherlands and it conforms to all EU standards.

"We are deeply grateful to the Parents' Association. When this project was suggested to them, they immediately offered to fund it.

"This is a powerful testament," she said.

Sunday Independent

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