Plastic Free Melrose 

St. Mary's School was the first prep/primary school in Scotland to achieve Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Schools status.

We did this by coordinating a number of events including a whole-school assembly performed by Form 7, writing to members of parliament, creating wall displays and , perhaps most importantly, eliminating a number of single-use plastic items from the school. We now no longer use single-use plastic water bottles, coffee cups, juice cups, jam portions, yogurt pots etc and are working on ways to remove other items.

The resources produced by the children (assembly and letter templates) have been used globally. In fact they are used as an exemplar by Surfers Against Sewage. We have encouraged other local schools (as well as one in Belgium!)  to sign up to the programme with Melrose and Stow Primary Schools on board as well as a certain East Lothian outfit!

Rather than rest on our laurels, the Form 7s and 8s have been working hard in Environmental Studies to expand our school's success to our local town. Our aim has been to reduce the amount of single-use plastics used in our town by targeting those businesses that sell them. If we can stop these items being sold in the first place we will really be making a difference.

Plastic Free Melrose was born!

The project began with a letter-writing and poster campaign as we first built a list of local businesses before writing to each one individually. Each letter pack contained a hand-written letter, information sheet, cover note and poster. If the business could prove that they had eliminated three different single-use plastics they would receive a wooden plaque and certificate.

I am delighted to report that, at time of writing, we have accredited five local businesses with another two awaiting certification. We have also held a town litter pick collecting c40kg of rubbish from the river bank near the Gattonside Bridge and are in the process of organising a litter pick involving seven towns on Tweed from Peebles to Berwick.

We are on track to be one of the first Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Communities in Scotland.

Well done to all involved!

Melrose for screen









IMG6261Next month Plastic Free Melrose is running a litter pick involving 7 towns on Tweed.
Will you be there to help out?

Tom Rawson, 16/03/2019