Sandhill View Academy pupils to recycle crisp packets to create foil blankets for homeless people

Children at Sandhill View Academy are looking to do their bit to reduce waste with a series of recycling initiatives including the use of discarded crisp packets to make foil blankets for homeless people.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 4:55 am

The school’s Eco Team has also ordered a total of 30 paper and plastic recycling bins and has implemented a policy to phase out the use of single use plastics including cups and cutlery.

Assistant headteacher Anthony Blake said: “The foil blankets can be created to retain heat and help keep people warm. We are using two organisations to help recycle the crisp packets. One is a North East based charity called the The Crisp Packet Project who we send off the packets to and they make the blankets.

"However, there’s also another charity called Iron Man which have provided tutorials for the pupils to use irons to make their own blankets.

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"A lot of these initiatives have come from the students who have set up their own Eco Team. It’s important that children have an input as it’s their future and they should have a say in what it’s going to look like.”

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The school has also installed a textiles and clothing recycle bank on the school yard. For every tonne of textile items collected, the school receives £300 from Fundraise & Recycle Ltd to re-invest in other eco-projects.

Eco Team member, McKenzie Todd, 12, said: “It’s really important to recycle, particularly plastics which can end up in our oceans and damage wildlife.”

Sandhill View Academy Eco Team volunteers (left to right) Jay Ferry, 12, Niall Aston, 13, Mitchell Peggie, 12, McKenzie Todd, 12, Dylan Douglas, 13, Ava Mccully, 13, Katie Belford, 12, Chloe Hudson, 12 and Darcie Peters, 14. Photograph: Elliot Nichol

Fellow member Dylan Douglas, 13, added: “I think people need to be educated a bit more about the damage plastics and waste can cause to the earth and wildlife.”

The initiatives have followed on from the recent COP26 summit.

Year 9 pupil, Ava Mccully, 13, said: “It’s important world leaders listen to children as we are the ones who are going to be most affected by their decisions.”

Members of the school's Eco Team discussing environmental concerns with Catherine Hearne, non-executive director at Together for Children. Photograph: Elliot Nichol

A grant of £500 was provided by Sunderland City Council to help fund the project.

Council leader Graeme Miller said: “I was really impressed with how these young want to bring about change. Listening to these young people is vital in our quest to become a carbon neutral city.”

The school has also ordered 450 trees to plant around the school grounds to offset its carbon emissions.

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