Don't be a Tosser
'A smelly earth'
School suggests litter solutions
West Suffolk school children say there is no excuse for dropping litter, and have suggested ways of cleaning up our county to their local councillor.
For 9 year old Daniel the environmental message is simple but drastic: "Pollution pollutes the earth and causes global warming and environmental jeopardisation - and probably the extinction of life on earth."
Daniel has been studying the problem of litter and thinking of solutions, along with the rest of his class at Risby Primary School.
"We thought maybe the shops could provide bins for rubbish that they produce, so instead of bringing it home for us to pay for, the shops pay for it", 8-year-old Neve said.
Jon Wright and pupils sing Pick it up
Molly, aged 9, added: "Empty the bins more often and have different bins for different rubbish."
Nick, also 9, said: "Recycle more plastic and paper cans and bottles and have less packaging on everything."
The children designed posters and discussed ways ways of making it easier to use litter and recycling bins, as well as incentives for good behaviour.
"If you go to a fast food shop," said Daniel. "If you bring the packaging back you get a voucher and if you collect 10 you get a free meal for one person."
Listening to the children's ideas was Councillor Peter Stevens from St Edmundsbury Borough Council.
He is the cabinet member in charge of waste and says that nearly £1.25million is spent every year on cleaning up litter in one way or another.
"It's an amazing amount of money. We shouldn't need to spend it, but we do have pride in our borough.
"I'd always prefer education before enforcement, but in blatant cases of littering and fly tipping we will be very thorough in our enforcement."
But he's not pushing for more bins.
"There is a cost to everything I'm afraid and we are also responsible for people's council tax. We have to strike a balance and we expect that educating the young will save a lot of money throughout the borough."
Councillor Stevens with the litter graph
The children took the opportunity to show a graph detailing the finds of their recent litter pick.
Although out of the council's remit, Councillor Stevens agrees with the children that the supermarkets should be more responsible.
"We do also need to educate producers to reduce their packaging as much as possible."
So education of the young, re-education of the old and punishments if necessary. And as the recession continues the value of tourism to places like Suffolk is ever more important.
The last word comes from 9-year-old Hattie: "If you drop litter, people won't want to come to England."
last updated: 23/06/2009 at 11:26