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Media Release: Students Begin Journey Upstream to Reduce Plastic in Oceans at Albury Wodonga

Students from across Albury Wodonga are joining Plastic Oceans Australasia’s (POA) Education Program to reduce plastic at their school over the next 12-months, reducing plastic upstream to ensure oceans are healthy for future generations, thanks to funding from Albury City and Wodonga Councils.

Today, POA’s Executive Director, Ricki Hersburgh and Education Coordinator, Helen Steinberg presented to students at schools enrolled in the program including Albury Public School, Wodonga West Primary School and Wodonga Secondary College. A waste audit demonstration was conducted as the first step in their journey to becoming single-use plastic free.

They were joined by Cr. David Thurley at Albury Public School to launch the program with students in grade three to five as well as recognise the newly appointed team leaders. Joining the POA team in Wodonga was Cr. John Watson who spoke to the students from Wodonga West Primary and Wodonga Senior Secondary College.

The funding supports four schools to undertake this fun and science-based education program, giving students across the region the chance to learn more about the impact of plastic pollution on waterways and the oceans around Australia and the world.

Executive Director, Ricki Hersburgh said the education program was a benefit to the whole community as students take the knowledge from the program to their home, community groups and inspiring others to join the journey.

“We work with schools across Australia and New Zealand to encourage behaviour change towards single-use plastic, so our waterways and oceans can be healthy for future generations,” said Ms Hersburgh. “As part of the program, students will undertake surveys and audits to understand the areas they need to focus attention in their schools with solution-based outcomes - that’s what we’re showing them today.”

“We’re so pleased that the Two Cities One Community initiative was able to provide the seed funding for some schools in the region to undertake this important opportunity. Working in a fun and engaging way, our program breaks down information to encourage actions that are creative and easy to follow. This is to so important as these students will be the carers of our environment into the future.”

“I’ve worked in environmental advocacy for over 25 years, the actions delivered by people along our rivers and waterways makes a huge difference to the survival of all plant and animal species. The work that these young leaders take up will potentially make a big difference for the whole community.”

Wodonga Council John Watson was thrilled to be joining POA at the school today.

“I'm pleased to see our young people engage in programs to help our environment as they play a key role in our community driving change to ensure we all do our bit to make a difference,” Cr. Watson said.

Plastic Oceans Australasia is an environmental charity that works throughout Australasia. Its mission is to change the way we deal with plastic waste by challenging society’s perception that this indestructible substance can be treated as ‘disposable’.


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