Smith Presents Dunblane School With International Green Award

31 May 2011

SNP MEP Alyn Smith today (Tuesday) presented St Mary’s Episcopal Primary School in Dunblane with a European award for their ‘Food Waste Reduction Challenge’ organised as part of European Week for Waste Reduction 2010.

The event, one of over 4,300 taking place across Europe during the Week last November, saw students from the school’s Eco Committee separating and weighing the food and packaging waste produced at lunchtime and running an education campaign at the school to help help pupils, staff and parents see the importance of reducing their waste. This has since enabled the school to halve the quantity of food waste that they produce.

Alyn Smith said:

 “It was a real honour to present the school with their well-deserved international award. Raising awareness about waste reduction and promoting changes in production and consumption patterns is more urgent than ever. European Week for Waste Reduction is a great way of getting people thinking of new ways to reuse waste.  I would like to encourage people to follow in St Mary's eco footsteps and do their bit to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill and save some money in the process.”

 Mary Paterson, Head Teacher at St Mary’s, said:

“The children were delighted to be chosen as the winners of this award.  While learning about the United Nations Convention on The Right of The Child, which includes the right of all children to have access to  clean water and nutritious food, the children at St Mary’s realised that not everyone is as fortunate as they are. They decided that with their right to good food came the responsibility not to waste it. The Eco Committee started a campaign to highlight the amount of food wasted, which included weighing the waste and reminding all children that they should eat what they are given. The school also has a commitment to sustainability and alongside reducing the amount of food waste they highlighted the importance of cutting down on packaging.”

The European Week for Waste Reduction, which is supported by the European Commission, promotes waste reduction across Europe. During the 2010 week, 4,346 actions took place across twenty-four countries. A recent ceremony in Brussels saw awards given out in six different categories, with St Mary’s Episcopal Primary School winning the ‘Best action by an education establishment’ category.

Betsy Reed, Head of Campaigns at Zero Waste Scotland, national organisers for the European Week for Waste Reduction in Scotland, said:

“90 million tonnes of food is wasted across the European Union each year with around 2 million tonnes in Scotland.  The food we all waste at home costs us an average of £430 a year.  The Food Waste Reduction Challenge at St Mary’s is an excellent example of how we can take real steps towards Scotland becoming a zero waste society.”