Humanities News

Year 8 Active Citizens

Over the past few weeks our Year 8 Citizenship students have been busy becoming active citizens, making a difference to plastic packaging in our supermarkets. Having researched into the issue of plastic pollution they have realised the relevance of the problem to their lives in Cornwall. Students have been inspired to take action. The individuals in 8SI have carried out surveys that looked at plastic consumption at home and have used this research to write letters to Tesco about their use of plastic packaging. Tesco have responded and are delighted that the students are taking such an interest in this issue! Please read one of the letters written by Caitlin Mulvaney in 8SI.

Dear Sir/ Madam,

My name is Caitlin and I am a student of Launceston College, Cornwall and I would like to say that I feel that plastic is overused in supermarket packaging. Sea creatures get harmed with our plastic packaging. Every year, plastic kills around 100,000 marine animals so that is why I am writing. You could be the first supermarket to become plastic free! We would like to help you change this.

In class we came up with some questions which we then took home and asked our friends and families. One of these questions was, ‘on a scale from 1-5, how much plastic do you use? (1 = none, 5= a lot)’. With this question, I found that on average people are using ‘a lot’ of plastic, and only half of those surveyed recycled it. Also, we asked ‘are you aware of any alternatives?’, and I found that everyone was aware of the alternatives but never see them being used. For example, lots of fruit and veg do not need plastic packaging as they have their own skins, like oranges. Fruit could therefore be sold loosely.

If you were to reduce the amount of plastic used, not only would the sea and the marine life be healthier we would too. Millions of micro-plastics become stuck in the food chain and enter our systems as we consume fish that have consumed these plastics. As a solution, you could use lots of alternatives or even have no packaging. Our research found that not everyone thinks about plastic when they shop but understand the problems it causes. It would be nice to be able to shop freely knowing that you’re not harming the environment.

I would very much like to hear from you.

Yours sincerely,