A big well done to eight-year-old Jaydan who won £5,000 for her school to spend on a recycling and sustainability initiative by creating a poster highlighting the importance of reducing plastic waste.
Jaydan's school, Grindon Broadway Junior School in Sunderland, took part in our Plastic Investigators competition, which aimed to teach children about the importance of recycling and tackling plastic pollution – and her 'Don't Fling It, Bin It' poster took third place overall.
The competition was part of our Plastics Investigators Club, in which hundreds of primary schools across the UK used lesson plans and learning materials created by Asda in conjunction with the National Schools Partnership, run by We are Futures, to learn about sustainability and packaging.
As well as classroom-based learning, schools were offered the chance to visit their local Asda store, where the local community champion gave tours and talked to pupils about what we're doing to help tackle unnecessary plastic and the importance of recyclable materials.
Julie Lowes from our Sunderland store and our packaging development manager Kirstie Youngson called in at the school to present the cheque to head teacher Claire Johnson.
Claire said: "The children were so motivated they were completing extra work and research at home! Everyone involved in Plastic Investigators learned something new about the issue and were able to recall facts.
"Attitudes towards plastic waste clearly changed throughout this topic – we found that children were proactively bringing less plastic into school, they were conscious of their choice of water bottles and reminded others to use refillable bottles, and they were recycling more."
Eugene Morgan, general store manager at our Sunderland store, said: “Everyone at Asda Sunderland is delighted that one of our local schools has won this national competition. Jaydan’s creative poster really showed the importance of plastic reduction and recycling for our environment and echoed the importance of Asda’s approach to reduce, reuse and recycle.
“Plastic reduction is something which is really important to us, it’s something that our colleagues and customers are really passionate about and initiatives like this mean we can continue to raise awareness of Asda’s commitment to being a sustainable business in our local community."
Gemma Quickfall, project director at We are Futures, said: "There has never been a more important time to teach our younger generations about recycling. With the impacts of plastic use being more visible than ever, the Plastic Investigators programme empowers young people to be a force for change and make a difference to their world. Their passion and enthusiasm for this project resulted in some of the best competition entries we have ever seen, and I hope they continue to ignite that same passionate spark in others."
We've already removed 6,500 tonnes of plastic from across our own-brand lines over the past 18 months, including from products such as baby wipes, greeting cards, removing plastic straws and pizza trays. We've also committed to making all of our own brand packaging recyclable by 2025.