PRIMARY schools and a nursery have joined a grassroots effort to reduce plastic waste in Denbighshire and what could be a solution to concerns about the county council's controversial bin collection changes.

Ysgol Llanbedr, Ysgol Bryn Clwyd in Llandyrnog and playgroup Miri Meithrin in Llanfair DC have signed up to the waste drop-off scheme organised by anti-plastic campaigner Mair Davies that aims to stop pervasive plastics like crisp packets and sweets wrappers from being dumped in black bins.

Under the scheme, staff, parents and pupils at the schools and nursery, as well as the Llangollen RAFA Club who have already signed up, will collect the plastics on their premises to be delivered to Mrs Davies’s home in Llangollen. She will then send them in bulk to Terracycle, the specialist recycling centre based in Derwen, Lancashire which recycles plastics that county councils across the UK are currently unable to.

Terracycle also gives a small cash return to plastic donations, which Mrs Jones will hand over to volunteer environmental group Llangollen Friends of the Earth.

Denbighshire Free Press:

Mair Davies (centre) with Ysgol Bryn Clwyd pupils.

Mrs Jones, who has previously worked with more than 20 businesses in Llangollen to reduce their usage of single-use plastics, said: “This is an easy project that kids can do and get their parents involved in too.

“The scheme will reduce the amount of waste going in our black bin and reduce litter, but I also hope it will help people really understand the waste that we have in our homes.

“Schools can be a good way to help collect crisp packets from home.

“I’m hoping as things pick up we can make a monthly or six-weekly drop off to Terracycle.”

The scheme reduces household waste and could give families the chance to make space in their black bins once the monthly collections are rolled out across Denbighshire in 2021.

Jaine Heginbotham, eco coordinator for Ysgol Llanbedr, said pupils have enjoyed learning about how to reduce their carbon footprint by using less plastic and growing vegetables at home. She said: “We recycle normal items and the children bring their crisp packets and chocolate bar wrappers so we barely throw any plastic in the bin now.

“The pupils are really gripped and excited to find a way of recycling.

“We also use vegetables grown in the allotment for school meals and parents pay for them, allowing us to buy more seeds.

Denbighshire Free Press:

Ysgol Llanbedr's Eco Council has been encouraging fellow pupils to collect crisp packets for recycling. Picture: Don Jackson-Wyatt

“It helps that we’re in the countryside and surrounded by the environment, and parents are very active in encouraging their children to get involved."

Mari Roberts, Miri Meithrin manager, where children aged three to five are taking part, said: "It is important to learn about the impact plastic has on the environment from a young age and to get into the routine of recycling.

"The children have a better understanding of what they can and cannot recycle since we joined the scheme and we will be asking parents to take part too and encourage their children to bring plastic from home to be recycled."

Vicky Lyons, deputy headteacher at Ysgol Bryn Clwyd, added: “The pupils are very keen on learning about recycling and we’ve just finished a topic about the sea, which is affected by plastic waste.

“We wanted to get involved in the scheme because it’s positive and an easy way to have an impact."