Jesuit Missions 11 Edge Hill ,
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Jesuit school pupil wins campaign for plastic free town

  • 3 October 2019

The Mayor of Longridge in Lancashire last week joined students from Jesuit School St Joseph’s Hurst Green for a Climate Action strike at the local cinema as part of the launch for Longridge to become a plastic free town.

Nine-year-old Jeannie Wilkinson, from St Joseph’s school, wrote to local Mayor Steve Ashcroft in May requesting that he declare Longridge a plastic free town.

She wrote “Plastic is a disaster for our planet because it disintegrates but it doesn’t go away completely. After it is used it goes in the ocean or landfill…We really must do something. I ask you to declare Longridge a plastic-free town.”

Jeannie Wilkinson with mother Emma (right) and Headteacher Mrs Moya Smith (Left)

Since then Mr Ashcroft has met with the councillors who agreed to do it and the project was launched last Friday 27th at a day of activities at The Palace Cinema in Longridge. This was an alternative to the “Friday’s for future strikes” by allowing for a more inclusive event for all age groups to express concerns about climate change. The cinema joined the strike by not showing it’s planned films and instead showed a film about climate change entitled “Tomorrow”. This was preceded by a range of activities and talks including the launch of the plastic free town initiative which was launched by Jeannie who read out her letter which she had originally sent to the Mayor.

Mr Ashcroft referred to the town council having listened and agreed to Jeannie’s request but said, “It’s very easy for 12 people to sit in a room and make a decision, but to follow we want action not apathy. There are over 600 towns who have followed the example and lead of Penzance so there’s lots of information around about how we should go about this. But I think the key element is the involvement of the community. It’s not going to work otherwise.”

Photo credit: Lancashire post