Photo shows CBS Kilkenny Students in front of their display to highlight the harm that plastic is doing to our sea life
Ten schools, including CBS Kilkenny, came together this week to take part in a unique Environmental Awareness Day to Save our Seas and to discuss and exhibit their plans to reduce their use of single use plastics in their schools and in their communities.
The schools are all Edmund Rice schools and the campaign is a key part of the network’s focus on social advocacy, peace and justice.
At a meeting in Callan last September, students from the ten schools decided themselves to focus on the need for an emergency response to the excessive use of throw-away plastics and their impact on marine life. The Environmental Awareness Day, which was hosted by Ard Scoil na Mara in Tramore, was the culmination of the year’s work. SOS, the campaign was launched officially by Senator Grace O’Sullivan.
It is estimated that about 8 million tonnes of plastic enters the sea globally every year, which means that at this rate the world faces a future with more plastic in the Ocean than fish by 2050.
The students said that they wanted to tap into the power of the youth voice, which has gathered momentum hugely this year with the growth of the Friday’s for Future movement. Many of the schools in attendance at the Environmental Day have taken part in the Climate Strikes.
They also heard first-hand about the devastating effects of marine litter with Cian Luck, marine biologist with Marine Renewable Energy Ireland, who they invited to be their key note speaker. Cian spent 18 months on Bird Island in South Georgia with the British Antarctic Survey where he studied the impacts of climate change, fisheries by catch and marine litter on the resident wildlife, including seals, albatross, and penguins.
The students also heard from Eoin Gill, Director of Calmast and lecturer Waterford Insitute of Technology (WIT), about its “Plastics: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” exhibition, a visual and artistic outlook on the current drastic state of the climate, and the damage of single-use plastics and marine litter.
Camilla Turney, from An Tasice also spoke to the students about their “Think before you flush” campaign, which aims to educate people about the consequences of flushing items away without thinking.