Some very young eco-warriors in County Durham have made an important environmental pledge.

St Bede’s RC Primary School in Sacriston has joined Durham County Council, Northumbria Water and a number of other organisations in pledging to eliminate the use of all unnecessary single-use plastics.

Plastic pollution is an enormous environmental issue. Off the coast of California, for instance, there is an area of floating plastic rubbish twice the size of Texas and plastic pollution can be very hazardous for marine life.

Plastics can take up to 1000 years to naturally decay.

St Bede’s is the first school in the county to sign the bespoke County Durham Single Use Plastics Pledge.

The school’s keen young eco-warriors will be taking steps such as using refillable water bottles and having their lunchtime sandwiches wrapped in tinfoil rather than clingfilm.

In addition to signing the pledge, the school has been awarded Plastic Free School status by the central government.

The headteacher of St Bede’s RC Primary School, Eve Alderson, said, “The plastic-free journey has been superb. The children have really enjoyed it and we have other schools coming to us to see what we are doing.”

“The children are much more aware of the environmental effect of plastic pollution now and it has made them a lot more thoughtful.”

Durham County Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, Cllr Brian Stephens, said, “It’s particularly encouraging to see young people taking such responsibility for their environment and for the future of our planet.”

“It would be great to see more schools across our county getting involved and signing the pledge to keep the momentum going.”

Any schools, businesses or organisations interested in signing the single-use plastics pledge should email [email protected].

Organisations signing the pledge will be given guidance and support to help them reduce their plastics use and find alternative materials.

(The featured image shows, from left to right, Thomas Meek, 9, Violet Wiecek, 8, headteacher Eve Alderson, Andrew Hudspeth, 7, and Emi Gala, 9.)

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