Sunderland school kids turn 1,327 plastic bottle tops into stunning art

Children at a Sunderland school are hoping their environmental efforts will earn them a playground makeover.

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 6:01 pm
The bottle top jellyfish

Youngsters at St Leonard’s Catholic Primary School, in Silksworth, have collected and transformed 1,327 plastic bottle tops into stunning art murals, as part of a nationwide recycling competition to raise awareness about plastic waste.

The school has been named among the top ten finalist schools in the competition, for its entry which is based on the story Somebody Swallowed Stanley by environmental expert Sarah Roberts, where a plastic carrier bag, is mistaken for a jellyfish.

The school will now take part into an online exhibition, where friends and family can drum up support for their favourite by liking and commenting on entries on the Composite Prime Facebook page.

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The winning school will be awarded a playground makeover worth £5,000 and two runners up will be presented with tablets worth £100.

A school spokeswomam said: “In Maple class at St Leonards RC Primary School, we have been cleaning beaches with our families on evenings and weekends. The children have researched and spread awareness through posters about the exploitation of marine life as well as campaigning for change in our local village where we have asked local businesses to allow people to refill their reusable water bottles for free to avoid waste.

“The children have absolutely loved working as a team to build their jellyfish sculpture and their parents and I are incredibly proud of their hard work.

"The campaign reminded us that we have a shared responsibility to care for and protect our world.”

The Message in a Bottle Top art competition was part of a wider campaign organised by sustainable composite decking manufacturer Composite Prime.

Overall, 785 schools, 845 teachers, 110,432 pupils and 194,360 parents took part in the Message in a Bottle Top campaign, and 90,000 plastic bottle tops were repurposed into art murals of endangered marine life.

Composite Prime director, Charles Taylor added: “We’re absolutely delighted with the reception of our ‘Message in a Bottle Top’ campaign and the standard of entries into our art competition have been outstanding.”

To find out more about the recycling programme, go to