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Newry and Armagh MLA Cathal Boylan has encouraged  all Schools to participate in the Education Authority (EA) competition for Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 pupils that investigates the use of Single Use Plastics in their school environment. The competition is open till 17 April.

The Sinn Féin spokesperson on Environment, Energy and Climate Change explained "There will be a two separate competitions, one for KS2 primary and the other for KS3 post primary schools.

Schools will be required to audit, monitor, and analyse the differing types of plastic that come into the school environment; what are their primary uses, how they are managed within the school and finally what happens to them after use.

Pupils are invited to propose innovative solutions to eliminate any or all of these single use plastics in their schools, and solutions as to how single use plastics could be re-used, that aims to avoid disposal.

Plastic waste on the County Louth coast. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
Plastic waste on the County Louth coast. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

Pupils should report their findings and proposed solutions in a written article and / or short (no longer than 3 minutes) video format.

Schools can submit their competition entry by the closing date of Wednesday 17 April 2019 by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. "

Mr Boylan added "We all have a responsibility for the planet and plastic pollution is a human made problem, we all need to take affirmative action to combat this problem.

"With over 10 million tonnes of plastic waste leaking into our oceans each year, we are reaching a critical point. The oceaan will contain more plastic than fish by 2050 unless we take action."

The Newry & Armagh MLA encouraged everyone to reuse, reduce and recycle where possible and to cut down on their use of single use plastics.

He concluded "There are environmental friendly alternatives available to a majority of our everyday products such as coffee cups, plastic water bottles and straws.

We need everyone to make the right choice and move to renewable alternatives that will help drive the fight against plastic pollution.”

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