Plastics 2020The Patcham Junior School Girls' Team
Girls from a Brighton junior school have won their first seven-a-side football tournament wearing a brand new kit made from recycled plastic bottles, thanks to a Plastics 2020 Challenge initiative, financially backed by the BPF, PAFA and PlasticsEurope.
It was a visit from the Marine Conservation Society's (MCS) ‘Cool Seas Roadshow’ to Patcham Junior School in February that inspired the girls to participate in the ‘Bottles Champions’ competition, where the collection of closures from bottles sent to recycling is rewarded by an offer of football kits actually made from used bottles. The competition is the fruit of a partnership between the MCS and The Plastics 2020 Challenge.
In the last two years, funding from Plastics 2020 has allowed the Marine Conservation Society to deliver 157 Cool Seas Roadshows briefing children on the effects littering plastic can have on the ocean. Some 26,971 children have now been involved and 207,020 bottles been recycled. Fifty-seven schools have now been awarded the sports kit made from recycled bottles.
Peter Davis of the Plastics 2020 Challenge said: “This is one of several initiatives we have taken in the UK to help prevent plastics getting into the sea. These are valuable materials and should not be irresponsibly thrown away. We want to set others an example.”
For their part, the Patcham girls took up the challenge with real gusto. Their Headteacher, Peter Barker, said the pupils took up recycling after hearing from the Roadshow how plastic littered in the sea could pose a threat to marine wildlife. “The whole school felt incredibly inspired to make a difference to the pollution of our seas. When they realised that much of the pollution comes from plastic washed up on the shore, they really were motivated to collect the plastic bottle tops.”
Now Patcham Junior schools has joined a select group of teams including Arsenal, Portugal and Brazil who all wear strips made from recycled plastic bottles.
Ten-year-old Hannah Bassett who played in the winning team said: "It was really cool wearing a shirt that had been made from bottles that we may have collected.”