Offaly schools green and proud

THIS May has seen the number of Irish schools flying the Green Flag exceed 2500 as over 1100 schools travelled to Green-Schools Award Ceremonies around the country.

THIS May has seen the number of Irish schools flying the Green Flag exceed 2500 as over 1100 schools travelled to Green-Schools Award Ceremonies around the country.

262 schools were awarded their first Green Flag in reward for their work on the Litter and Waste Theme and 861 schools successfully renewed their Green Flag under the themes of Energy, Water, Travel, Biodiversity and Global Citizenship.

The Green-Schools programme continues to grow at a remarkable rate with over 3600 schools now registered with the programme, representing over 88% of all schools in Ireland.

Schools from across Offaly attended a ceremony in Athlone on May, 22.

The programme is coordinated in Ireland by An Taisce, operated in partnership with Local Authorities and is supported by the Department of Environment, Community & Local Government, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht, National Transport Authority, NPWS and Trócaire. The programme is sponsored by Repak, the Wrigley Company Limited and HSBC.

Repak are the lead sponsor of Green-Schools in Ireland and Dr Andrew Hetherington, CEO, Repak commented, “Repak is proud to be the lead sponsor of the An Taisce Green-Schools programme for the last five years. In that time, we have seen a major change of attitude to packaging recycling, which is in no small part due to the Green-Schools initiative.

“Ireland’s Green Schools divert 42 tonnes of waste from landfill every school day. Since our sponsorship Repak has seen the numbers of schools registered grow from 1809 to 3676 since our sponsorship and the number of new flags awards increase by 1467.”

Congratulating schools at the awards ceremony, Cathy Baxter, Green-Schools Manager with An Taisce said, “As the number of Irish schools flying the Green Flag exceeds 2500, it is clear the Green-Schools programme is having a significant effect within Irish schools and their wider communities.

“Our research shows that schools are continually improving their environmental management systems as well as the behaviours of the student population. With continued support from our partners and sponsors we envisage the programme will continue to grow and exceed expectations.”

See this Tuesday’s Offaly Express for more photographic coverage of the presentations of Green Flags to a host of Offaly schools