A passion to do something about plastic pollution

A commitment to do something about the environment, based on strong Catholic principles of social justice compelled St Patrick’s College Campbelltown teacher Maria Boulatsakos to apply for an IEU/TMB Environmental Grant.

Her successful grant, Pattie’s Plastic Pollution Solutions, was inspired by the work of environmentalist Anthony Hill, who attended the school to speak about environmental matters earlier in the year.

Boulatsakos’s plan is for the school to move to a plastic free environment through re-invigorating the current environmental initiatives and also changing the culture of waste.

The grant funding will build on some previous successful practices, which included the use of keep cups and an eco-bin system in each classroom and will allow the school to purchase a number of transparent bins that will become permanent fixtures around the school. This is so that students will collect their plastic containers and become more mindful with their waste by realising how much non recyclable rubbish is being created.

Maria, who has been an RE/ PDHPE teacher at the school for six years, got the idea from a Perth City Council project called Face your Waste.

“Before we started this project, we were creating nine cubic metres of waste every year and only one cubic metre of recycling. I hope that we will be able to reverse that figure,” Boulatsakos said.