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PE01437: Recycling in Schools

Environment Energy

Petitioner: Les Wallace


Date Lodged: 28 September 2012

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to ensure the provision of recycling facilities within school playgrounds is mandatory. In addition to call for a national survey of in school practice and teaching on reduce, reuse and recycle to ensure current best practice becomes the standard practice.

Petition History:

Fig.1: Source separated recycling facilities in school playgrounds will help develop the recycling habit early in life to be applied in the home and workplace. Children can also influence their parents to participate in existing kerbside recycling schemes and promoting recycling probably does more to develop anti litter attitudes than traditional anti litter work. Playground recycling should be mandatory.

Fig.2: The aftermath of T in the Park 2006. If we fail to provide the best possible education and practice on reduce, reuse, recycle in schools as possible the consequences for the environment and society are dire. Image courtesy of John Ferguson.


30 October 2012: The Committee took evidence from Les Wallace. The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government/Education Scotland, COSLA, Zero Waste Scotland, Eco-Schools Scotland, the General Teaching Council for Scotland and Falkirk Council. Link to Official Report 30 October 2012 (474KB pdf)

8 January 2013: The Committee agreed to close the petition under Rule 15.7 on the grounds that matters are being addressed through various current and forthcoming regulations, projects and initiatives. The Committee also agreed to write to COSLA reminding it of the duties that fall to local authorities. Link to Official Report 8 January 2013 (474KB pdf)

Written Submissions:

 After more than twenty years since kerbside recycling began in earnest in Scotland we are STILL NOT ensuring that children are being taught about reducing waste and being encouraged to recycle effectively. Investment in domestic recycling schemes and the success of workplace waste reduction is suffering badly because of this. It also means that anti litter work is compromised as recycling is almost certainly a better method of preventing litter than traditional anti litter work.

There are no basic mandatory requirements for how well waste reduction is taught or practiced. As a basic requirement ALL  school children should have recycling facilities in their playgrounds. We also need a national survey on how well reduce, reuse, recycle is taught and practiced in schools to ensure that best practice becomes standard practice.

Litter is so unnecessary and affect wildlife how would you like it if people dumped their litter in your garden

sonia mclay

8:42 on 16 Sep 2012

Teaching and exemplifying what should be matters - let's make sure our schools are definitely included, but not stop there...

Stephen Duff

12:51 on 13 Sep 2012

This generation will teach the next, and the next, that recycling is simple and necessary and virtually effortless. As a child it was ingrained in us "Be A Tidy Kiwi" and it was us children that taught our parents that it was unacceptable to throw rubbish out the car window. NZ is a better place for it.

Glen Elliott

22:10 on 03 Sep 2012

Teach sustainability early and we may just have a chance.

Markus Hiemann

14:01 on 30 Aug 2012

I really hope that this changes behaviour and attitudes in Scotland. I am looking forward to schools promoting the 3 Rs and a cleaner environment.

Mary Holligan

18:04 on 25 Jul 2012

This issue cuts not only to the way people dispose of things, but also how we go about manufacturing consumable materials and packaging. Education allows an ongoing message to be embedded with the next generation of consumers, and so is of critical importance. Much recycle, reduce and re-use education in the late 1990s and early 2000's was funded by Landfill Tax Credit scheme, but Central government took away that category from the scheme. Perhaps an independant or heavily devloved Scottish Government should consider re-instating Category c and cc to the LCF as a proven and sustainable funding mechanism.

Arthur Berg

16:11 on 19 Jul 2012

Please provide recycling in the schools. It is only through early education that the sort of messes we see now will be prevented. Children influence their parents hugely!

Cat Newsheller

10:44 on 16 Jul 2012

Every opportunity to educate and take practical action towards changing attitudes towards the three 'r's should be grasped by all!

Christine Bell

12:05 on 11 Jul 2012

Zero instances of Litter is the objective of the new campaign at www.Zilch.org.uk and so we fully support this initiative.


20:04 on 09 Jul 2012

As a retired teacher, I am in full agreement that education should play a greater part in learning about recycling - the younger the child the better. How to keep the recycling bins in the playground in a hygienic state ( ie clean lids) could be an issue, however.

Sally Gallagher

11:25 on 09 Jul 2012

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