On Saturday 16th June, a group of pupils went to Marlow Regatta to help get the word out about the growing global issue that is plastic pollution in rivers and the ocean. They were successful in raising £147 for their charity Surfers Against Sewage, a charity dedicated to the protection of the oceans, beaches and wildlife. It is the aim of the students and teachers alike at Borlase to achieve the title of “plastic-free town” for Marlow and they are well on their way, with the regatta being the first of many ideas that the pupils have planned that will help clean up Marlow and make the river safe. Their ultimate aim is to eliminate the use of single-use plastic in local businesses and schools. On the day of the regatta, students campaigned with a stall they had set up on site, at which they sold cakes, ran competitions and educated members of the public who were intrigued and wanted to know more. The students were successful in getting the word out and gathering many members of the public on board. After the success of the BBC’s Blue Planet, the issue of plastic pollution has become very prominent in society. It is a known problem that we are now working with the community to solve.
On Monday the 18th of June, approximately forty Borlase pupils (all of whom were volunteers) went down to the river for a “plastic clean-up”. Armed with bags and, affectionately named ‘grabbers’, these pupils proceeded to sweep the waterfront of all manner of plastic litter, but also ended up removing a significant amount of other refuse (including a particularly large collection of cigarette butts). The whole event took only an hour and, encouraged by local river-watchers, was a highly successful enterprise that we will seek to replicate in future.
Alex Lyons, Phoebe Butler and Alex Maynard