The European Week for Waste Reduction 2017
By Cara Borg Aquilina - Year 9
The European Week for Waste Reduction is an initiative aiming to promote awareness-raising actions about sustainable resource and waste management during a single week. It encourages a wide range of audiences to get involved. The theme for the European Week for Waste Reduction 2017 has focused on reusing and repairing. Reusing is the action or practice of using something again, whether for its original purpose or to fulfil a different function meaning to repurpose an object. Repairing is the action of restoring something damaged, faulty, or worn to a good condition. The name of St. Michael Foundation's action is Fix the Faulty and our school has exhibited different projects, posters and carried out several actions to raise awareness on this important initiative.
The students of Year 9 are mainly responsible for the actions that have taken place regarding the European Week for Waste Reduction.
Initially, students in their third year of secondary school participated by presenting speeches during assembly with information relating to the European Week for Waste Reduction which apprised other students and educators about this initiative and the methods in which we, as citizens, are able to contribute in regulating the waste generated in Malta.
In fact Malta has the poorest European Union recycling rate and the situation is worsening. Recycling remains an unpopular habit in Malta, with only 6.7 percent of waste being reused despite the stress placed on better management. Malta recycled the smallest quantity of municipal waste according to a study issued recently outlining the progress among member states on sustainable development goals (Eurostat 2015). The figures emerge as concerns mount that the Magħtab landfill will reach full capacity in less than two years’ time. This is the reason why waste management is crucial and that by reusing and repairing items, we are carrying out a fundamental action in Malta's waste management system.
Furthermore, due to the eye opening figures that signify the amounts of generated waste, many projects were produced and displayed as to introduce different schemes that people could carry out in their own households. The displayed projects are affordable and cost efficient as they are handmade and they also save up the use and cost of energy and deducting the emission of greenhouse gases. The students truly portrayed and represented the aim of the European Week for Waste Reduction through the invention of their innovations.
The hereinafter are a few of the many that mainly incorporated both aspects of reusing and repairing objects.
One certain group of students sewed together old scraps of materials, fabrics and disused clothes to create pillow cases rather than buying expensive ones at an outlet, which make use of a lot of energy and time during the process of manufacturing.
Following the same principle, other groups made toys purposely made for pets and others cut up tattered and worn out clothes to repurpose them as toys for young children.
Wonderful items used for decorative purposes such as plant holders were made to decorate an inviting area in one's household. Also, candles were formed by melting crayons and pouring the melted content into a jar and a wick was also added before the solution consolidated. Other groups converted toilet paper rolls and other household supplies into phone stands, speakers, scarf hangers and festive decorations simply by cutting and decorating the needed supplies. Tiny Christmas trees were assembled out of cardboard and are of perfect use for the Christmas time.
Cans of food were decorated to form gift boxes as they were decorated for every holiday throughout the year, Christmas, Easter, Halloween and birthdays. For all whom have phone cases which are peeling off and are having thoughts to throw them away should think twice. Phone cases were also painting and styled for a finished, clean and trendy look. Fictional character inspired helmets were also exhibited. These were made by revamping a faulty helmet to the appearance of those used in the block buster space opera media franchise Star Wars for example.
Lastly, a stool was constructed by using plastic water bottles filled with sand as a base to support a pillow, which were both decorated and painted with originality.
In order to cognize more people about the EWWR and to expand the number of people being aware of it, students made posters showcasing different pieces of art as exposure of the initiative. Logos and sketches relating the EWWR were exhibited to promote all that was taking place in aim of making our environment one worth living in.
Wasteserv representatives also visited St. Michael Foundation and students explained their exhibited projects and how they would aid waste reduction in the Maltese islands.
In conclusion to the European Week for Waste Reduction, students of St. Michael Foundation also organised the filming of a short video clip of their own to showcase the previously mentioned schemes with more detailed explanations of what was carried out during the important week of waste reduction.
This initiative is indispensable since the waste management issue in the Maltese islands is not dealt with appropriately.
If we wish to see a change for the better in our island, we all have to contribute as "together everyone achieves more" and all of our combined effort working for a common cause will benefit us and the generations to come in the future.
"You must be the change you want to see in the world" - Mahatma Gandhi
The European Week for Waste Reduction 2016
Write Up by Andre Abdilla Year 9 Blue - click here