As part of Gwynedd Council’s environmental efforts, school kitchens across the county are introducing arrangements to reduce the use of single-use plastic and non-recyclable materials.

Gwynedd Council’s Education Department has set out an ambition to cut-out single-use plastic and other non-recyclable materials from school kitchens across Gwynedd.

Councillor Cemlyn Rees Jones, Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “As a Council, we are committed to reducing the amount of waste going to landfill and ensuring that we look after our environment responsibly.

“Over recent months, children and young people here in Gwynedd and beyond have shown their clear views as part of the global action against climate change. It is clear that our young people here in Gwynedd have a real desire to make a positive difference for the benefit of the environment and it’s great to see that they are involved in discussions locally in schools to make practical changes that can make a real difference. ”

Gwynedd’s Education Department is urging the county’s secondary schools not to buy plastic drinks bottles for sale and instead provide jugs and cups of water at lunchtime and install water fountains around the school so that pupils can fill their own reusable bottles.

Specific groups are in place in secondary schools involving pupils, the cook and often a member of the school’s Senior Management Team to look at issues such as nutrition and menu. Discussing ideas to reduce the use of plastic is now part of their discussions with great ideas being put forward to drive the campaign forward.

Schools are also being urged to avoid using any type of plastic or ‘styrofoam’ around food and to only use cardboard or paper.

Excellent work is also happening in the county’s primary schools. Part of the efforts being made is to eliminate the use of plastic straws.

Ysgol Dolbadarn in Llanberis is one of the primary schools that has been doing important work to try and cut down on the use of single-use plastic. The Council is introducing a new greener system by purchasing milk in a large container and pouring it into cups rather than providing small milk cartons that can only be used once. This change will mean a 67% reduction in the use of plastic.

Councillor Cemlyn Rees Jones added: “It’s great to see our schools doing such positive work in this vital area.

“The enthusiasm of the children and staff has been important in bringing about this change and we thank them for their commitment. We hope to see these changes being implemented in schools across the county over the coming months.

“I would like to thank the pupils for their efforts – their enthusiasm and desire to act positively for the environment is an inspiration.”

Photo: Pupils from Ysgol Dolbadarn in Llanberis who have been highlighting the need to reduce the use of single-use plastic.