Wooler First School wins nationwide recycling contest

A Wooler school's recycling efforts have won a national prize thanks to the local community

Simon Greener Pupils from Wooler First School who have been recycling on a grand scale and have won an award

A village school has wrapped up a national recycling award thanks to the efforts of the surrounding community - and their taste for biscuits.

Wooler First School, in rural Northumberland, has won the nationwide recycling contest to save the most used biscuit wrappers from landfill.

A total of 7,800 used biscuit wrappers were collected by the school’s network of collectors and the wider local community in the Glendale area during the six-month McVitie’s Biscuit Wrapper Round up contest, which ended in October.

Though the village school has only 113 pupils, it was aided in its recycling efforts by the Roddam WI and blood donor groups in the North East.

The school came in ahead of strong competition from participating locations all over the UK including runners up the Women’s Aid Charity in Grimsby and the third placed Preemies UK children’s charity in Droitwich in the West Midlands.

In the end though the sterling efforts of the children at Wooler carried off the main prize.

While biscuit wrappers are recyclable, very little mixed plastic recycling is carried out by local council kerb side collections, as most of them do not have the facilities for that kind of recycling.

This results in billions of biscuit wrappers needlessly being sent to UK landfill.

It prompted McVitie’s and recycling experts TerraCycle to combine to launch an innovative solution for UK consumers in the form of the McVitie’s Biscuit Wrapper Brigade.

The scheme encourages consumers across the UK to use freepost labels to send in any brand of used biscuit wrappers to be recycled into everyday products.

Dave Sage, who co-ordinated the collections at Wooler First School, said: “The school is delighted to have won the Biscuit Wrapper Roundup and would like to say a huge thank you to everyone locally who helped us by saving their biscuit wrappers for us.

“Since we began collecting various types of waste packaging with TerraCycle a year ago, we have saved an incredible 32,435 pieces of waste from local landfill, raising £1,333 which the school is using to buy additional classroom resources and forest school equipment.

“This is only the beginning though as we are collecting various types of waste with TerraCycle on an ongoing basis.”

Local people wishing to help can drop their used biscuit wrappers, pens, baby food pouches, baby wipes packaging and coffee packaging of any brand and Activia, Actimel and Shape yogurt pots at the school’s 24/7 access outdoor collection point at the Cheviot Centre on Padgepool Place.

“We will happily send them in as part of our recycling collections,” said Mr Sage.

Any other community groups interested in joining the scheme can find out more information about the McVitie’s Biscuit Wrapper Brigade at www.terracycle.co.uk/en-UK/brigades/mcvities-biscuit-wrapper-brigade.html .

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