Hunua School kids ditch the plas­tic

Franklin County News - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - RUWADE BRYANT

Hunua could soon be plas­tic bagfree thanks to chil­dren from Hunua School.

Year 4 and 5 chil­dren from the school’s room two class started a project after they were learn­ing about plas­tics and what dam­age they were do­ing to the en­vi­ron­ment.

The en­vi­ron­men­tally con­scious chil­dren, along side their par­ents, formed the Hunua School Re-us­able Bag Ini­tia­tive and be­gan think­ing of ways in which they could re­duce plas­tic us­age in the en­vi­ron­ment.

‘‘It be­came quite clear that it is re­ally about chang­ing habits, shop­ping habits,’’ said par­ent An­gela Storey.

‘‘We thought, per­haps we could do some­thing like pro­vide the com­mu­nity with a re-us­able bag and the chil­dren can de­sign it them­selves.’’

The chil­dren from room two were sep­a­rated into eight groups of four and were tasked with de­sign­ing bags, writ­ing speeches and craft­ing letters to send to mem­bers of the com­mu­nity to help per­suade peo­ple to stop us­ing plas­tic bags.

A meet­ing was then set up where lo­cal busi­ness owner owner Raj Cha­ran, the chair of the school’s board of trustees, and the head of the PTA were in­vited to at­tend.

‘‘The kids used what they had learned in their re­search to be in­flu­en­tial and con­vince all the sort of stake hold­ers,’’ said Storey.

The board of trustees ap­proved the kids’ pro­posal to spend $2000 on pro­duc­ing the eco-friendly, re­cy­clable bags and Cha­ran, who owns the Hunua gen­eral Store, promised to pur­chase the school’s bags and stopped buy­ing plas­tic bags the very next day.

‘‘I have been plas­tic bag-free since the first of Oc­to­ber,’’ said Cha­ran.

‘‘We were ini­ti­ated by the Hunua School kids, writ­ing us letters about the detri­men­tal af­fects of it to the en­vi­ron­ment ... we have been know as a store for ex­cel­lence in re­tail trade and we wanted to be a model store and we wanted to show that, as a busi­ness, we care for the en­vi­ron­ment.’’

The bags will be sold at a flat rate of $4 each or three for $10 at the Hunua Gen­eral Store. The chil­dren also show­cased their bags dur­ing the school’s ag day which on the week­end where they sold 250 bags.

Although the school never in­tended to raise funds from the project, the bags have been priced to ‘‘gen­er­ate some profit’’, which will be do­nated back to the school PTA for fu­ture projects. ‘‘The thing that I love about this, is it demon­strates for the chil­dren what real com­mu­nity lead­er­ship is all about, it is re­ally re­ward­ing to see that they can see a liv­ing ex­am­ple of cre­at­ing change.

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