Academy pupils set to clean up their act in new venture

20150205- Forfar Academy Litter Prevention Project. 'Students, staff, project partners, local business community representatives, and council staff met for the launch of the schools project to work with the community to prevent litter in Forfar. ''Andy Thompson Photography for Angus Council.

20150205- Forfar Academy Litter Prevention Project. 'Students, staff, project partners, local business community representatives, and council staff met for the launch of the schools project to work with the community to prevent litter in Forfar. ''Andy Thompson Photography for Angus Council.

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The pupils of Forfar Academy are about to embark upon a new litter prevention initiative to clean up the area around the school.

The initiative, a partnership with local businesses and residents, will also improve the quality of the local environment.

As part of the Clean Up Angus programme, the project aims to establish an on-going reduction of litter in and around the school grounds by making it easier to dispose of litter and encouraging pupils and others in the community to reduce their littering behaviour.

A recent survey carried out with pupils at the academy found that 84 per cent felt that the areas in and around the school were moderately or heavily littered, with 32 per cent reporting that they had littered in and around the school over the past month.

Demonstrating its proactive commitment to the project, the school has introduced its new Litter Prevention Charter which involves input from all pupils and staff.

The charter will see recycling becoming a part of the standard school week and the provision of improved recycling facilities around the school.

Litter Prevention Wardens will encourage anti-littering behaviour, with the help of other community and council groups, while pupils will be encouraged to take pride in the cleanliness of their school community by being actively involved in the process through incentivised house competitions.

A commitment to promoting the charter will also ensure that this initiative can be sustained long-term for the benefit of all.

The pupils of the Forfar Academy Communications Team are in the process of developing a marketing plan to publicise the initiative within the school community, including a catchy slogan, a memorable logo and encouraging visual advertising.

Gail McGuinness, Depute Head Teacher at Forfar Academy, said: “Everyone at Forfar Academy is delighted to be leading the way on this important initiative.

“We recognise that there is more that we can do to improve attitudes to litter and recycling and we are keen to do this in a way that will focus on pupils being responsible members of the Forfar community.

“We hope that the Litter Prevention Project will have a positive impact on the Forfar community and the environment as a whole as we strive to reduce litter and increase recycling.”

Councillor Ian McLaren, who is leading the project, said: “We know that simply preaching to pupils is ineffective. “This initiative seeks to encourage pupils to find their own solutions to keep their own areas tidy.

“I’ve been really encouraged by the work of the pupils to see that they are part of the community and to work to change the behaviour of their peers to stop dropping litter.”

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “I’d like to congratulate Forfar Academy pupils and staff on the launch of their Litter Prevention Charter.

“Zero Waste Scotland is happy to support this proactive effort of everyone at the school to change behaviour and attitudes around littering.

“Litter can blight communities and is very costly to clean-up – the best solution is not to drop it in the first place, as these pupils have recognised with their emphasis on communications and prevention.”