Offaly Comhairle na nÓg help secondary schools in Offaly become Single-Use-Plastic Free!
Comhairle na nÓg is a youth council operating in each of the 31 Local Authority areas across Ireland. Comhairle Na nÓg gives children and young people the opportunity to be involved in, and have a voice in, the development of local and national services and policies and any issues that affect them in their local area. It is the recognised national structure for participation by children and young people (aged 12-17 years) in decision making.
Offaly Comhairle na nÓg throughout 2021 as part of their work plan on climate change have been developing an app named ‘Trash-Talk’. The app provides secondary school students in Offaly with a toolkit that students can use to campaign to make their schools single-use-plastic free. Anyone can download and use this app from their app store and become more aware of environmental issues and learn how to reduce single-use-plastic in their school.
In order to achieve more awareness about the issue of plastic waste in schools in Offaly, Comhairle na nÓg collaborated with the Environment section in Offaly County Council and now have 6 secondary schools in Offaly receiving workshops from Susan Adams of ‘Education for Sustainability’. Susan Adams provides education to young people in sustainability and variety of environmental based action workshops (www.educationforsustainability.ie).
Transition Year students from St Brendan’s School in Birr and the Sacred Heart School in Tullamore kicked off their campaigns on the 14th & 15th of October. They completed a workshop which educated them on plastic pollution and the effects it has on the planet. They discovered interesting facts such as plastic is developed from fossil fuels such as oil and gas therefore its production contributes to global warming. The students also learned that plastic pollution is becoming an increasing environmental hazard in our rivers and oceans for animals and humans and has led to many large garbage patches in our oceans. One of the largest being the Giant Pacific Garbage Patch. Students also discovered that one plastic bottle takes 450 years to disintegrate.
Students will now be campaigning and developing a plan to tackle single use plastic in their schools while using the app developed by Offaly Comhairle na nÓg. Cathaoirleach of Offaly County Council, Cllr. Declan Harvey opened the campaign at the Sacred Heart School Tullamore on Friday 15th of October and welcomed the ingenuity of Comhairle na nÓg in developing the application which will help to increase awareness in young people around Offaly. Cllr Harvey stated ‘it’s a good example of collaborative working with Comhairle na nÓg and the Comhairle na nÓg steering group and Offaly County Council who provided the funding for the schools to complete the workshops’.
Offaly Comhairle na nÓg are hosting their Annual General Meeting on Thursday the 25th of November 2021 online. This is a great opportunity to see the work they have completed in 2021 and also for young people to have their say on issues important to them. If any young people in Offaly would like to join or for more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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