The national winners of this year’s Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) competition have been revealed.
Young Reporters for the Environment Litter Less Campaign is an international journalism scheme run in Wales by Keep Wales Tidy on behalf of FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education). It empowers young people between 11-25 to take a stand on the global fight against litter and articulate these issues through writing, photography and film.
Ysgol Tir Morfa Community Special School in Rhyl were the winners of the film competition, with their in depth look at bathroom plastics. The students’ research revealed that most families have 18 plastic bottles in their bathroom yet only 65% of us recycle them. The film’s message was clear – ‘it’s time to clean up’ and make alternatives like shampoo bars more widely available.
West Park Primary School, Porthcawl won the written article competition after investigating how Porthcawl is trying to solve its plastic problem. Their interviews with businesses, local politicians and residents impressed the YRE jury, with a call-to-action for other towns and cities to follow Porthcawl’s lead.
Ysgol Clywedog in Wrexham have been given special recognition in the International Collaboration category, for their joint film project with Colegio Enriquez Soler – a school in Melilla on the northwest coast of Africa. Together the students investigated the problem of plastic waste across two continents and the things we can do to prevent it, from and recycling it to shopping plastic free.
Nicholas Brown, Head of Geography at Ysgol Clywedog, Wrexham said:
“The students and staff are so excited and honoured to have won this award against such high-level competition. When we started on this journey our expectations were low and our plans small. The students’ passion to make a difference and their capacity for good has changed everything. The phrase ‘Act local, Think Global’ has now been expanded to ‘Act Local, Act Global’ and by working with our friends in Melilla, the students are realising that they CAN make a difference to the environment and people’s lives around the world from a comprehensive school on the outskirts of Wrexham. We are now ready to represent Wales against the rest of the world in this competition, although everyone involved has a shared passion and goal. You are never too small to make a difference, but united we are stronger!”
Lesley Jones, Chief Executive for Keep Wales Tidy said:
“It’s fantastic to see so many aspiring young journalists around the country using their investigative skills to raise awareness of waste and litter. Our winners went above and beyond to find out more about the devastating impacts of plastic pollution and people’s attitudes to sustainability. All of the winning entries highlight how even small changes at a local level can help tackle a global problem.”
The winners from Wales will now be entered into the international YRE competition, joining other young journalists from more than 40 countries.
For more information on the Young Reporters for the Environment programme, visit www.keepwalestidy.cymru