On Friday 8 February 2019, Ishaan Shah from the Senior School (Year 11) delivered a powerful and thought-provoking assembly to the boys in our Preparatory School. His speech was on the topic of ‘Plastic Pollution in our Oceans’ with an aim to inspire and encourage the boys to act on this issue.
Ishaan started the assembly by stating that: “Every year, around eight million metric tonnes of plastic goes into our oceans. That is the equivalent of emptying a rubbish truck full of plastic into the ocean every minute. Plastic pollution has created a 400-year problem with many consequences to the environment and to us. Moreover, because plastic degrades, this means that just one plastic bag in the ocean can kill over a thousand dolphins.”
Habs has taken the responsibility to do something about this situation. By establishing an Eco-Committee, discussing solutions for reducing plastic waste in Student Council meetings and raising awareness, boys and staff at Habs are determined to tackle the issue.
The School is working towards a plastic free environment - by switching from plastic cups to reusable cups in the Bates dining hall, promoting the use of reusable bottles and increasing the number of recycling bins on campus, Habs is reducing its plastic pollution ‘footprint’ significantly.
After asking the Prep boys what they knew about plastic pollution and offering advice on the small changes they can make, Ishaan mentioned his top five tips on how to reduce their plastic pollution footprint:
1. Firstly, educate yourself, your family and friends. Ensure you are aware of the issue and start to raise awareness about this issue so that others can make amends in the way they use and waste plastic.
2. Secondly, always reuse plastics and all things in general. Reuse shopping bags, packaging, plastic cups and bottles – and when you’re ready to dispose of them, make sure you put them in the correct bins so that the can be reused elsewhere.
3. Try and switch to alternative products such as metal straws, paper or reusable bags, cutlery and bottles.
4. Urge companies, businesses, restaurants and schools to reduce their plastic pollution and switch to reusable products.
5. Sticky back plastic used to ‘back’ books is a vinyl plastic, which means it takes over 100 years to fully decompose.
Ishaan, who was thanked for delivering his assembly by Mr Rossetti, Head of Preparatory School, ended with the powerful message:
“Be a part of the solution, not the pollution!”