A number of children in Year 5 have continued the campaign to highlight the issues around single use plastic by writing to the CEO of the Week Junior with regards to the packaging of their weekly subscriptions.
Further to our correspondence in relation to your use of plastics to
wrap the Week Junior (emails of 6 June 2018, 5 August 2018 and 27
October 2018), we note we have not received a response to our last
email. We feel it is vital for you to address this issue given the
increasing problems that plastic pollution is posing to our
As mentioned previously, the Week Junior often focuses on global
climate issues (for example, the 16 March 2019 edition) and we feel
this reflects the significant interest your readership has in such
matters. We therefore believe that you, as a magazine with such
influence and popularity, should set the example. We have suggested
alternative packaging, such as potato starch, BIOPLAST 300 and we urge
you again to rethink and take the necessary steps towards saving our
planet. If other publications like the National Trust, Which magazine
and the Observer can use biodegradable packaging, why can’t the Week
We note you refer to your current magazine packaging as being
recyclable. However, this packaging, LDPE type 4, is only, in reality,
recycled 5% of the time and only 17 percent of local authorities
permit it to be recycled. In particular, our local authority (Bristol)
does not permit it to be recycled as part of household recycling.
Also, we strongly believe this is a problem that we can’t recycle our
way out of. Making the effort to alter your packaging to a fully
biodegradable substance like the one we have suggested is the only way
to properly tackle this fundamental problem. We must act now - “there
is no planet B.”
Our school, and possibly many more, currently has a subscription to
your magazine, together with many individual pupils. We believe
strongly in tackling this problem and, if things do not change for the
better, we will eventually consider cancelling subscriptions. We are
firm believers in going green and doing everything we can to persuade
others to help. We will spread the word and hopefully persuade you to
take appropriate action. Please find below a list of people at Sefton
Park School, Bristol who read and enjoy your magazine but are prepared
to act for the greater good of our environment and, if necessary,
Maggie Smithson (Phase Leader)
Daniel Simson (Deputy Headmaster)
The Week responded to the email request as below:
Please accept my sincere apologies for the lack of response to your email sent in October 2018.
I share your concerns about the use of plastic wrapping and would like to reassure you that we are actively seeking a sustainable long term solution to delivering The Week Junior to subscribers. We have recently conducted a trial involving 1500 of our subscribers being sent an unwrapped copy of the magazine. We invited them to provide feedback and I'm very pleased to say that the response was positive – only one respondent reported receiving their magazine damaged, the rest were pristine and all were in favour of this solution. Compostable wrappers are also being considered, but – given that kerbside collection of food waste is not a nationwide service – I believe that delivering wrap-free is the best solution of all. Subject to final approval from Royal Mail, we are hoping to roll this out to all our subscribers in the very near future. Meanwhile bulk orders of the magazine are already being delivered to schools in a paper envelope.
I hope this note will reassure you that this an issue that we are taking very seriously and that we are urgently committed to doing something about. If you have any further questions then please don't hesitate to contact me directly.
In the meantime I hope you continue to enjoy reading The Week Junior.
With very best wishes
We are delighted to receive this favourable response and look forward to further campaigns in the future.
In a recent Geography Day many of the activities children covered at St Andrew’s Park considered features of the local environment and also how to improve the sustainability of the park environment for the local community
Eco Council recently cooked a nettle soup for a class, to draw attention to the environmental benefits of using seasonal, local food where we can.
The first week of Term 6 will see children from Year 1 upwards taking part in One World Week. This will include a number of activities around issues of sustainability and global citizenship, such as children with close links to other countries teaching their class about them; improving the school grounds; activities around the RSPB Wild Challenge; and studying environmental issues with global impact.
The Green Elephant stall will be running again where children across the school make items for sale out of materials that they would otherwise recycle or throw away. All proceeds go to environmental learning at Sefton Park.
Whilst our DEKI contact will be unable to start activities at the beginning of Term 6 as planned, ECO Council and other DEKI representatives will be preparing for a cross-school DEKI effort. DEKI describes itself as "a microfinance charity that empowers entrepreneurs to work their way out of poverty by providing life changing loans and business training".
ECO Council will be commencing work on their plastic bottle greenhouse.
We are currently finalising arrangements with Henleaze Lake Swimming Club for some children, who can swim over 100 metres, to visit the lake as part of the seasonal natural learning opportunities we aim to provide.
The following is a letter from Sefton Park which will be sent to local businesses early in Term 6. This letter was drafted after a number of class and school assemblies led by children, a visiting Plastics expert and teachers. Children will have the option of saying they support this letter, and a communication will be sent to Parent(s)/ Carer(s) advising them of this and giving them the option of opting their child out of supporting the letter if they so wish. Businesses will be advised as to the total number of children within the school who supported this letter being sent (children will not be identified individually by name).
We are writing to you regarding the issue of plastic pollution.
First of all, we would like to make clear that we really value how your business serves the community and how hard your employees work. We are also fully aware that plastics have benefitted us in so many ways, from hospitals to toys shops, from supermarkets to transport. We all use plastics in our lives and know that we will continue to do so because of their fantastic benefits.
However we are also very concerned indeed about issues around plastic pollution, not only on the life that directly digests or is otherwise damaged by plastics, but also the knock-on effects on the environment and food chain. A recent focus on these issues at school has led to us writing to you and other businesses.
We are fully aware that it is up to all of us to reduce plastic pollution, not just one area of society. However, that does still mean, as one part of the jigsaw, we would be interested to know what you do to reduce plastic pollution and what you may do in the future. This could include:
Looking for alternatives to plastic where possible.
Ensuring it is clear to members of the public which plastics are recyclable (including soft plastics).
Supporting technologies that look to environmentally-friendly alternatives to plastic.
Raising awareness of plastic pollution problems.
Ensuring the immediate environment around your business is litter free and recycling is unlikely to cause litter issues.
Providing plastic recycling facilities, particularly for plastic types that Bristol City Council (and other Councils) may not be able to recycle via kerbside collections.
Ensuring if you seek an alternative to plastic, it does not cause just as many environmental problems in other ways.
Donating to scientific research that could close the cycle on plastics so they become a continuous reusable loop.
We would be very keen to hear your thoughts and thank you again for all you do to serve the community. Please either contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Eco Council, Sefton Park School, Ashley Down Road, Ashley Down, Bristol, BS7 9BJ.
Employees and children of Sefton Park School .