A Stirling school has scooped a national award for highlighting the effects of plastic pollution on marine life.
Drymen Primary School artwork

Drymen Primary School took first prize in the photography category of the prestigious Young Reporters Competition 2019, which is run by Keep Scotland Beautiful.

Using plastic waste generated from school lunches over five days, P7 pupils created four marine creatures which are vulnerable to plastic in Scottish waters.

Titled, “We eat from it, we survive. They eat it, they die”, the artwork is designed to demonstrate the extent of plastic pollution in coastal and marine areas and show children at the school the amount of plastic they were using at lunchtime.

It is also aimed at educating others on the subject, making people stop and think about the devastating consequences of their permanent plastic footprint.

Their powerful piece of imagery saw Drymen come out on top, not only in the 11-14 photographic category of the nationwide competition but also in the overall category – open to those aged between eight and 24.

The school were awarded prizes for their efforts, including a Go Pro Camera, which will support the development of reporting and film making skills across the curriculum.

Change attitudes and practices

Headteacher Elisabeth Olbrich said: “I am incredibly proud that the efforts of our Primary 7 children to change attitudes about single use plastics have been recognised in this way.

“Their creative use of a week’s worth of school lunch plastic is inspiring and thought provoking and will hopefully change attitudes and practices.”

Pupils had been inspired into action by a workshop provide by Young Reporters Scotland which addressed the effects of plastic pollution, particularly on marine creatures.

Creative skills and passion for environmental action

Convener of the Children and Young People Committee, Cllr Susan McGill said: “Congratulations to all the P7 pupils at Drymen Primary on winning this major award and being recognised for their creative skills and passion for environmental action. This impressive artwork is a really innovative way to make people think about this important issue as we aim to achieve a sustainable Stirling.”

Vice Convener of the Committee, Cllr Margaret Brisley said: “As a Council we are committed to protecting and improving our environment, and it’s fantastic to see our talented children and young people highlighting this important issue locally and nationally in a really imaginative way. A huge well done to all.”

Picture details:

Pictures show the award-winning P7 pupils at Drymen Primary School and the artwork that scooped them their prize from Keep Scotland Beautiful