Aiming to reduce the amount of single use plastic bottles in their school the eco conscious pupils of Canon Sheehan Primary School in Turnpike, Doneraile, have teamed up with Cork County Council to install a water bottle filling station in their school. The refill station was officially opened today by the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan.
The pilot scheme was initiated by the senior pupils of the Green-School who explain “We, the 5th and 6th class pupils in Canon Sheehan Primary School were concerned about the amount of single use plastic bottles used throughout the school year. It amounted to over 23,000 bottles and these end up in the bin at home or at school. This is avoidable and something we wished to change. The impact of plastics on our planet is terrible. It ends up in the oceans, on roadsides or in the ground. As a pilot school we are encouraging other schools in Cork County to follow our lead.”
The electronic water filler, funded by Cork County Council, is located in the school corridor making it easy for the 128 pupils and 12 staff members to refill their reusable bottles throughout the day.
As part of the initiative the pupils also approached businesses in Doneraile to register on the Refill.ie Tap Map. The Refill Ireland initiative aims to avoid unnecessary single use plastic drinking water bottle waste, by facilitating people to refill for free at more than 850 public refill locations nationally. Cork County Council is actively encouraging businesses to register on the tap map, with over 100 companies signed up throughout the Cork County to date.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan, who recently announced a council water refill station for Clonakilty, praised the student’s enthusiasm, saying
“Around 220,000 plastic water bottles are consumed each day in Ireland and most are binned after one use. Providing public water refill facilities is a simple and effective step towards sustainability. It’s great to see the proactive approach of these students. As a Green School they are really leading the way. We can be very proud of our county too with 58% of schools in Cork awarded green flag status, a figure well ahead of the national average. I hope this pilot encourages other schools, especially those with meal programmes to consider following suit as there is potential to work with the Council on delivering similar schemes.”