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Ocean Defenders recruit CalMac to anti plastic campaign

Ocean Defenders from Sunnyside Primary School in Glasgow have enlisted ferry operator CalMac to their campaign to ban plastic straws.

The group of Primary 7 eco campaigners have been promoting their #NaeStrawAtAw campaign around the country and impressed the company's new Community Board with their passion for conservation when they presented to them in Oban last week.

The 12-member board was set up last year to provide an independent community voice on issues facing their communities.

plastic ban

'When Sunnyside Ocean Defenders first got in contact with CalMac last year we knew we needed to hear more about their campaign. The company is extremely concerned about marine litter and the blight it can have on the marine environment across the west coast. Their Ocean Defenders group provided both CalMac and the community board with an extremely informative presentation highlighting the dangers of single use plastics and provided us with samples of suitable alternatives which we could adopt,' said CalMac's Environmental Manager, Klare Chamberlain who organised the school's board visit, along with Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Shona Neil

'We have been working with our suppliers over the last year or so to identify alternatives to single-use plastics and with our waste contractors to ensure than any alternatives can be suitably managed. I am delighted that CalMac Ferries can support #NaeStrawAtAw and ban plastic straws on-board and look forward to spreading word of the campaign across the communities we serve. 

'Our procedures are also changing so that straws are only available on request. All other sources of single use plastics on board are also under review and we hope to be able to announce further changes over the coming months'

Sunnyside describes itself as a "conservation school" with the motto "We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children".

Pupils launched their #NaeStrawAtAw campaign on social media last year after estimating the number of school milk straws they throw away each year at 38,000 and learning how plastic can kill seabirds, fish, turtles and cetaceans. 

They are now on a mission to get companies and organisations around the country to join them. 

Picture shows: Ocean Defenders from Sunnyside Primary after their successful pitch to ban plastic straws to CalMac's Community Board


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