World Environment Day: Making a Difference

Tuesday marked World Environment Day for 2018, and it came with some big announcements. Major supermarkets have agreed to stop the use of lightweight plastic bags in accordance with new laws. They have also said that plastic straws and excess packaging will be axed. Greenbatch, the organisation behind Santa Maria’s drive to collect plastic bottles, was featured on Channel 10, and are awaiting an announcement about funding for their major reprocessing facility. Even the Premier, Mark McGowan, spoke passionately about what this day symbolises. But what did it mean to us, here at Santa Maria College?

World Environment Day gave us an opportunity to take stock of how far we have come this year, as well as look at how much further we have to go.
Thanks to the work of several students at the College, we have prevented over 20,000 pieces of plastic from being purchased and used, by encouraging the café to switch to recycled sugar-cane pulp containers.

While we know that there is much to be done, like the continued use of plastic straws, styrofoam cups and balloons, Tuesday was a day to acknowledge the hard work of our students; students who have collected thousands of bottles, who have cleaned up our foreshore, and who have made an effort, time and time again, to say ‘no’ to single-use plastics. It gives me great joy to have a student excitedly tell me that they are using a non-disposable metal straw or to get an email asking if a particular product can go into one of our purple plastic bins. These seemingly innocuous interactions give me hope that World Environment Day might one day not be needed. That one day, we will look after our planet, and every day will be World Environment Day.

Hannah Fay | Eco Sisters Coordinator

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