Posters designed by Sunderland schoolchildren encouraging people to cut down on plastic waste are set to add colour to the city’s coastline.
Pupils across the city designed posters to mark World Refill Day on Friday 16 June, as part of an ongoing campaign by Sunderland City Council to make the city a greener, cleaner place to live and visit.
Over 90 young people aged between five and 16 participated in the competition, with 10 winning designs being brought to life to remind visitors to be responsible with their waste and help preserve the local environment.
Tre Ofoegbue, from Richard Avenue Primary School, designed one of the winning entries which will be displayed at the seafront as of this weekend.
Speaking about his design, he said: “It is important to recycle as much as we can, once things are empty they should go in the bin, not the beach.”
Sunderland City Council also engaged its Environmental, Green and Sustainable (EGS) Group, a collective of dozens of young people from across the city helping to drive the city’s low carbon ambitions.
The poster campaign coincides with the one-year anniversary of Sunderland’s Refill programme, joining an award-winning initiative that helps people the world-over live with less waste by connecting them to places they can eat, drink and shop without single-use plastic packaging.
Launched on World Refill Day 2022, the Sunderland Refill scheme is supporting businesses and consumers to transition towards reuse systems and tackle the global issue of plastic pollution. There are now over 100 Refill stations across the city, from independent cafes offering a discount for bringing a reusable cup, to greengrocers, restaurants, bakers and free drinking water fountains at which people can access drinking water for free in their own bottle.
Another of the winning poster entries came from the Eco Committee at Kepier Academy, which is also hosting its own ‘Refill Day’ on Friday to mark World Refill Day.
The group said: “Our school has looked at the amount of single-use plastic bottles we use and we have decided to take action.
“We have EcoBoost Credits at Water Refilling Stations across school and to further encourage everyone to opt into this we offer ‘reusable, sustainable bottles’ as Class Charts rewards.
“We are excited about holding ‘Refill Friday’ on World Refill Day and will calculate how successful this has been by the amount of refills we’ve all had. This is only one of our actions to reduce Single Use Plastics across school.”
Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “We can’t wait to see the winning designs being put up across the seafront for all to see.
“Since the launch of our Refill scheme last year, we’ve been working closely with young people across the city to devise new ways of encouraging people to cut down on plastic waste and keep our city clean and tidy and this is a great example of how we’re empowering our youngsters to help drive real change.
“As well as encouraging people to cut down on plastic waste and keep our beaches clean, it will also help change behaviour in terms of encouraging more people to use the Refill scheme to reduce, reuse and recycle more waste, making Sunderland a cleaner, greener city for all.”
Businesses wishing to learn more or sign up to the Refill initiative can click here or go to www.refill.org.uk/get-involved/add-refill-station to add a station on Sunderland’s map, or contact the Low Carbon team at Sunderland City Council for more information at: email@example.com