On Thursday 22 March 2018, Principal and CEO of Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) Robin Ghurbhurun signed the Plastic Free RuTC Charter 2018-2019 during a planned day of action.
The event and pledge charter were organised by a passionate group of RuTC students. These students are taking part in My World My Home, an enrichment programme in community campaigning being delivered by environmental charity Friends of the Earth in conjunction with the National Union of Students (NUS).
With the vast majority of the UK's plastic waste not being reused or recycled and up to 12 million tonnes of plastic ending up in the sea each year, RuTC students and staff voted that plastic waste was the number one environmental issue they wanted to change at RuTC. As part of the My World My Home programme, the students have been working with senior college management to create a charter that pledges to reduce plastic use. The aim is to reduce the amount of unnecessary plastic used on campus by 2019, when the new state-of-the-art college building opens. The new building will boast a renewables centre and a low carbon automotive centre. Waste, including the use of paper will also be drastically reduced.
RuTC staff are working closely with the students in reducing plastic waste by decreasing plastic packaging, not giving out plastic straws and raising awareness through videos and physical displays in the refectory.
RuTC Student, Rufus Irvine, says: “I think the pledge is important as it is both treading the path for other schools to follow and showing that students can make a tangible change”.
RuTC Student, Isaac Skrzypczyk, delivered a compelling and enthusiastic speech to students and staff during the day of action and said, “I am passionate about equality for all beings on earth. Plastic threatens the future for this earth with its lack of degradability and its harm to sea life and humans too. I cannot fight for equality worldwide if there is no world to fight for”.
Find out more about the impact of plastic and what you can do to help: https://friendsoftheearth.uk/plastics