Social Justice

Social Justice

Loreto Normanhurst to ban plastic before the Queen, the BBC and Scotland!

This was a challenge that the Green Team posed to the Leadership Team in February of this year. You may recall that we stopped providing disposable cups at the Curran Café last year and I am pleased to announce that the decision has now been made to eliminate straws, disposable plastic cutlery and cups from the canteen, Curran Café and catered events. I would like to thank the Leadership Team and  our catering company Chartwell’s for their support in moving the school forward in this area.

In late 2017, David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II was aired in the UK and it was the most-watched show of 2017. The final episode in the series highlights the environmental impact of ocean plastic and has been credited with providing impetus for the nationwide movement away from disposable plastic, which has been nicknamed the ‘Blue Planet Effect’. The power of mass media to educate the general public can never be underestimated and the ambitious targets set by the Queen, the BBC and Scotland to eliminate disposable plastic items, including straws and cups, are now achievable because people understand the rationale behind these bans. I was in the UK during July and the changes are evident – places I visited offered paper straws on request only, encouraged the use of reusable beverage cups and discouraged the use of lids for takeaway cups, for example. (The UK already has a law that applies to plastic bags.)

So, where does this leave Australia and the Loreto Normanhurst community? Blue Planet II was aired during February and March this year and I wonder what their viewing statistics were?  I suspect that it does not rank as Australia’s or indeed Loreto Normanhurst’s most-watched show! The education of our Loreto Normanhurst community by other means is critical and we are in the midst of our very own movement away from disposable plastic. The sphere of influence of our young people is far-reaching. We are confident that they are already sharing their learning with their families and that their ecological education guides their current and future decisions.  


Mrs Elizabeth Cranfield

Ecology Coordinator