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School pledges to reduce number of plastic bottles sold on site from 51,000 to zero - in a year

Abigail Moulton and Nola Botwright are the students who have pushed for Wymondham High Academy to pledge to eradicate bottles in the next 12 months. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Abigail Moulton and Nola Botwright are the students who have pushed for Wymondham High Academy to pledge to eradicate bottles in the next 12 months. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

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A high school is planning to rid its campus of plastic bottles in a bid to reduce waste.

Abigail Moulton and Nola Botwright are the students who have pushed for Wymondham High Academy to pledge to eradicate bottles in the next 12 months. Picture: Victoria PertusaAbigail Moulton and Nola Botwright are the students who have pushed for Wymondham High Academy to pledge to eradicate bottles in the next 12 months. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Wymondham High Academy sold around 51,000 plastic bottles of water and fizzy drinks last year - and it wants to reduce this to zero over the next 12 months.

It announced the scheme, masterminded by students Abigail Moulton and Nola Botwright, in a letter to parents this week, saying it had reached the point where it had to say "enough is enough in terms of plastics".

But it warned there would be some price rises in the school canteen to balance the loss of income from bottled drinks.

Abigail and Nola, who run Instagram page The Environmentalists to post about their eco-friendly activities, said they were not just concerned with plastic recycling but decreasing the production and use of it.

Jonathan Rockey, Principal at Wymondham High Academy. Picture: Victoria PertusaJonathan Rockey, Principal at Wymondham High Academy. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

They said some students had not caught on to the idea yet, but hope the new plastic bottle scheme will change minds.

Abigail said: "We just want to help as much as we can and it would be really awesome if it spread to other schools."

The letter to parents, signed by Abigail, Nola, principal Jonathan Rockey and the school's environmental committee chairman, said: "Schools not only play a huge role in the education of young people in an academic sense, but we also have a moral obligation to ensure they have a decent future to grow into."

The school has already taken measures to reduce waste from its canteen such as replacing plastic cutlery and sandwich packaging with wooden and compostable alternatives and purchasing new recycling bins.

Abigal Moulton. Year 9 student at Wymondham High Academy. Picture: Victoria PertusaAbigal Moulton. Year 9 student at Wymondham High Academy. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Now, it is working with catering firm Edwards and Blake to remove all still bottled water from the canteen from October 28, with sparkling flavoured waters to be removed from September 1, 2020.

As of November 1, every Friday will be "bottle free" and neither flavoured waters nor cartons will be available, which the academy estimates will save nearly 15,000 plastic bottles from being purchased this academic year.

Six bottle-friendly water points have been installed around the school and fresh water will also be available in the canteen at break and lunchtimes.

To compensate for the loss of income from bottled drinks some items in the school canteen will increase in price, with most rises targeted at less healthy options such as cakes, pizza and pastries. The letter stressed it was "not a decision we have reached lightly."

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