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Pen Recycling

Staff and pupils across The Corinium Education Trust are working together to recycle single-use plastics.


All our schools currently recycle plastic bottles. Cath Brace, Assistant Head, at Cirencester Deer Park School expressed her gratitude to The Friends of Deer Park, who in response to pupils’ requests funded some bottle bins to facilitate recycling at Deer Park.


In February 2020, all schools in the Corinium Education Trust began to recycle pens. There was a recognition of just how many consumable plastic stationery items end up in our bins and, ultimately, landfill sites.  


This new initiative began at Deer Park and a collection box has been set up in the school’s library and pupils, parents and staff are encouraged to bring in and donate their disused, empty pens. The target is to salvage pens that have run out and recycle them. ‘We are aiming to collect 15 kgs: we can recycle anything that comprises of a plastic tube: biros, board markers, felt tips and even propelling pencils.' Mrs Bond, Librarian.


Pupils have taken the lead at Kemble and Siddington C of E Primary Schools. Members of Siddington C of E Primary School’s Vision in Action group put together an assembly and provided each class with a collection box. Grace and Victoria in Year 5 and Year 6 made a poster about recycling pens, which is attached to the lid of the recycling boxes. On a recent visit to Siddington, Chiquita Henson, CEO, was delighted to see the pen recycling in action: ‘I was impressed when in one lesson a pupil whose pen ran out knew precisely what to do!’


Pupils from Siddington commented: 'We are recycling pens that do not work. Any money raised will be going to charity. There are so many pens in our box!'  Sophia-Mei (Year 1). 'We've been putting pens that don't work in the box rather than putting them in the bin. The pens in the box are going to be recycled.' Elsie (Year 6).


Children at Chesterton Primary School have also joined in the collection.  


The pens from the 3 primary schools will be added to those at Deer Park and then, once we have achieved our goals, we will be depositing all of the pens at Cirencester College, who act as a local repository and collection point for TerraCycle UK. TerraCycle are a recycling company that has become a global leader in recycling typically hard-to-recycle waste. Cirencester College have elected to support the following two charities with monies raised from the pen recycling: Children with Cancer UK and The Hollie Gazzard Trust.


Sustainability is an important element within The Corinium Education Trust’s broad curriculum. All schools follow the National Curriculum and OECD’s model for education and skills in 2030, which aims to help every learner develop as a whole person, fulfil his or her potential and help shape a future built on the wellbeing of individuals, communities and the planet.


With a prominent and brightly decorated box in the school office, pupils at Siddington C of E Primary School are already recycling crisp packets. This represents their active stewardship and care for our planet. Following their lead, members of Deer Park’s School Council are considering further recycling initiatives. They are planning to set up further recycling points for bottles and crisp packets around the school. If we all take these small steps, we can make a big difference!


‘We know that lots of small marginal gains supporting and sustaining our environment stack up to make a big difference. Deer Park is committed to recycling so that we reduce our waste and make a difference to our surroundings both now and for the future.'  Liz Lang, Head of School at Cirencester Deer Park School