February 4, 2020

Head Girl Abby Redwood joins Student Council members at Northgate High School, Norfolk to celebrate being named Eco Champions.

Northgate High School, Norfolk has been awarded the Eco Champion Mark in recognition of the work the organisation has delivered through its War on Plastics campaign.

The school earned the mark for its impressive work in enlisting the wider community to support its successful pen and crisp packet recycling initiatives, as well as its Bottle Free Friday scheme for the school dining room.

Led by the 15-strong School Council, the campaign has enlisted feeder primary schools, library, council offices and even a local supermarket – as well as the 750 pupils at the high school. The impact has been considerable with 110kg of pens and 107kg of crisp packets recycled this academic year.

The School Council’s new Bottle Free Friday scheme aims to cut the sale of 9,000 bottles and cans over the year and provide students with reusable drinking bottles. Income raised from the recycling will support the school’s charity of the year Cancer Research UK.

Organisations can earn the Eco Champion accreditation for projects that make their community safer, cleaner or greener.

Nominations for the status can be linked to initiatives delivered by individuals or groups and either by adults or children. Projects can be linked to schools, business or the wider community.

EcoChampion spokesman Simon Dolby said: “The enthusiasm and passion of the School Council has created community momentum for its pen and crisp packet recycling schemes, as well as generating real change in the dining hall on campus to cut use of plastics. The school thoroughly deserves Eco Champion status and pupils and staff should be commended for the impact they have delivered.”

Impact points
  • The school is a collection point for the Terracycle Writing Instrument Scheme as well as a crisp packet recycling scheme.
  • Students have involved feeder primary schools and community facilities such as local library and council offices – even a supermarket – in collections of both items.
  • To date: 110kg of pens and 107kg of crisp packets collected – raising money for school chosen charity – Cancer Research UK.
  • Students have worked with the school’s canteen contractor Edwards & Blake to reduce plastics. Card trays have replaced plastic, Bottle Free Fridays removed bottle, cartons and cans on sale. Aim to reduce number of bottles sold in a year by 9,000. Switched to reusable bottles.
  • Planting areas on school site including tree planting.
  • Next step is to introduce a Green Classroom Award with classes graded using a traffic light scheme on recycling, pen pots collection and lights usage.


EcoChampion fact-file
  • Eco Champion categories are designed to be broad enough to cover a wide spectrum of initiatives involving business, community groups or schools and colleges.
  • For 2020 nominations can be education or campaigning in nature; physical structures or innovations; community projects.
  • Safer: This can include projects that improve road safety skills, reduce fire risk or cut anti-social behaviour.
  • Cleaner: Schemes that boost recycling levels, reduce fly-tipping or community litter picks.
  • Greener: This covers green travel, as well as initiatives to boost health and wellbeing such as projects linked to physical exercise and healthy eating.
  • Administered by Streetspace Group, nominations are independently scrutinised, with all winners of the accreditation going before a judging panel to crown a number of overall UK champions each year.