Our Eco Council has been invited by Surfers Against Sewage to take part in a debate on Tuesday, one that’s going to be extremely challenging… we’re playing the part of a Packaging Manufacture and we’re supporting the motion that the plastic free programme should be put on pause for another 20 years! This caused some confusion in our brief discussion on this topic; some of our ECO Council kept putting arguments against the motion!

A few other schools are attending with us on Tuesday, playing different parts in the debate (I think we have the hardest!), but you can read our pitch below.

It should be an interesting day as it’s hosted at the Met Office in Exeter and we have several workshops in the morning, learning about what they do there and about the weather and climate too.

Wish us good luck – we’re hoping we lose!

Our pitch…

Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen,

We’re representing the Packaging Manufacturers. We’re the ones who package up the resources that get delivered to your schools, whether this is the stationary used in your classroom or the fruit, vegetables and food products that are used in your kitchen.

Today’s motion is one that we agree with, in that the concept of Plastic Free Schools should be disregarded until 2042.

We believe that this nonsense about becoming Plastic Free is one that should be put on pause for a good 20 years.

I’ll explain that…

  1. There would just be too many changes to our systems and processes,

  2. It’s far too costly to consider, and

  3. All the alternatives aren’t good for the environment either!

What we mean by the motion that the Plastic Free Schools Programme should be paused for 20 years, is that…


Regarding all the changes we’d have to make in our warehouse, these would just be huge.

We’ve been using plastic since our family business started in the 1930s. It’s cheap to produce and allows us to make a profit. With it being so versatile, we can use the same product for packaging many items. It’s lightweight and can drastically keep our delivery costs down, again enabling us to make bigger profits.

There would be a huge amount of waste created by changing our packaging material. This would be a huge waste of product, but also of money.

There’s been a lot of consideration over the years we’ve been in business for the materials we use. We have to package delicate items, like raspberries, and make sure they get to their destination untarnished. We’ve tried other material before, like paper and card, but these are really inferior to materials like polystyrene and bubble wrap.


We are a business, and we need to make a profit to be in business. We can’t just chuck our plastic stock out. Changing our materials would cost us a fortune!

Plastic has only now started to become an issue now that you green ‘Eco warriors’ have bunked off school with your posters and placards. You’ve not thought about the businesses out there that keep this good country running.

Without us and our efficient systems, the system would fail.

Changing the product we use for packaging means that significant changes would need to be made to the machinery in our warehouse. This would cost us our family run business far too much, and we may be forced to close!


All the alternatives we’ve looked at, also have an impact on the environment.

We’ve thought about changing our packaging to paper and card, but then this would entail cutting down trees, and we know that’s bad for the environment!

National Geographic also says that only a 1/5th of plastic is recycled. Clearly this shows that not many people believe in this nonsense.

In conclusion…

Far too many changes would need to be made to our systems and processes, and to those businesses that provide goods and resources to your schools, that we would possibly not make any profits at all.

Making changes isn’t easy and the materials we have the option of using, also have an impact on the environment.

By making these changes, we could possibly lose our business and be forced to close.

Thank you.

I hope you can see our side of this debate and agree with us.


(These are just a few of the comments we’ve planned to throw in to the other groups’ speeches about promoting and becoming Plastic Free.)

“Every little helps?” …but the National Geographic say that only 1/5 of plastic gets recycled, so surely there are far more people NOT recycling?!

Improvements need to be made to bins, litter collection and recycling systems rather than blaming the people who use the products that end up there.

Single use plastic is convenient. …It’s not only convenient, it’s also hygienic.