Wednesday 23 October 2019
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Waste Impact

Monday 08 July 2019

Waste Impact
Caring Cooks conducted a recent study in one Jersey primary school to understand how much single use plastic was generated from a week of 300 children eating a packed lunch.

Ahead of Caring Cooks launching school meals ‘Flourish’ in September 2019, they wanted to see the impact that this would have on single use plastic from packed lunches, comparing June 2019 against June 2020 when we will run waste week again.  Flourish will be piloting in Samares and Janvrin school from September which hopefully lower the carbon footprint of the school, in order to prove this, we did an experiment. The headteacher of Janvrin, Iain George, agreed to put out specific bins over lunch time to fill with single use plastic, for one week only. The results were staggering, waste week generated 3,631 items of single use plastic meaning that that on average every child has 2.42 items of single use plastic in their lunch box, or on average 12 items per week. 

Iain George, Headteacher said – “I am very proud of the work that children have done to support this excellent initiative. As a ‘Rights Respecting’ school I have been very impressed with the initiative that some of our children have taken in extending this focus: they are now collecting and measuring the quantity of plastic bottles used each day and encouraging other children to use alternative options.

As a school we would want to aim to be single-use plastic free by July 2020 and a plastic free school shortly after that. The motivation and enthusiasm from the children makes me very confident we can achieve this.”

If we equate this to the 6,093 children who eat a packed lunch each day, 5 days a week for 39 weeks of the school year, it will generate just under 2.9 million pieces of plastic every year.

This is one of the many reasons we are launching Flourish in September 2019, providing a nutritious 2 course meal to nearly 600 children through a collaborative pilot with the Government of Jersey, at Janvrin and Samares Schools, with the hope of eventually rolling this out to all States primary schools in Jersey.  Not only will this school lunch programme provide children with the right fuel for their bodies and an afternoon of learning, but will address more strategic priorities such as increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and contributing to lowering obesity rates.

Melissa Nobrega said – “We are thrilled to have appointed a respected and renowned local Chef Sarah Copp to the position of Head Chef, who is busy creating a delicious, fresh and nutritious menu for the children to eat from September.  As you can imagine from such a pioneering new initiative like Flourish there is much work to do, but Caring Cooks and colleagues from Public Health and Education are working together to deliver this exciting project ready for the children coming back to school in September”.

We are going to repeat the same test next year, once Flourish has launched to see the impact Caring Cooks are making on single use plastic waste. If you want to make a difference to the Islands carbon footprint, donate just £5 to help us launch Flourish to all of the schools across the Island. 

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