News, Schools

Plastic Free Charter

The Charter School North Dulwich is a coeducational, non-selective school in the London Borough of Southwark with over 1,200 pupils

The school aims to be free of single-use plastic by 2021. Good progress has already been made; for example, the school’s caterers are now using compostable packaging for almost everything – bottled water is the main exception.

Currently, around 600 plastic bottles are purchased at school every day, adding up to over 100,000 every year.

The next step is to stop selling bottled water and replace single-use plastic water bottles with reusable bottles that pupils can fill themselves from new water stations providing fresh, chilled water.

The school currently has only a small number of water fountains which are dilapidated and in need of upgrading. The pipework that serves the fountains is old and rusty, leaving the water from the fountains tainted with a metallic taste. The Friends of Charter School North Dulwich are campaigning to raise funds for the new water stations, which will provide fresh, chilled water – and to provide reusable bottles so that all pupils can be plastic bottle free. The total cost of the project is £27,000.

Christian Hicks, Headteacher at The Charter School North Dulwich, said, “As a school we are constantly looking at ways to reduce our environmental impact and this is something which is important to both staff and students. We are also keen to do everything that we can to help our pupils stay hydrated, as this has been proven to improve concentration and mental performance, as well as being essential for students’ overall health. We are very fortunate to have the fantastic support of our PTA, The Friends of the Charter School North Dulwich, in helping us to secure the money we need to start this project.”

Lucy Hamer, Chair of the Friends of Charter School North Dulwich, said, “Some pupils buy a bottle of water every day. By using a refillable bottle, filled for free at the refill stations, they will be saving £5 a week, or £190 a year, or £1,350 over 7 years at the school.  Once the new water fountains are installed, we will be working with the school’s Student Council to raise awareness of the importance of using the resuable bottles and the new water fountains.”

The crowdfunding campaign can be found at www.justgiving.com/campaign/plasticfreeCharter