Pupils’ Millions of Reasons to Recycle message proves social media success

Published: 19th November 2019


A video featuring Borders primary school children explaining the importance of recycling has proved to be a social media success.

Stow Primary’s Millions of Reasons to Recycle video has had over 17,000 views so far on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Watch the video

The video is available to watch now.

It includes pupils from the school – who have been recognised for their approach to improving sustainability – sharing their knowledge of recycling.

The children discuss the environmental and financial benefits and their concerns for the future of the planet, including wildlife.

Millions of Reasons to Recycle

The video is part of our Millions of Reasons to Recycle campaign, which focusses on the key statistic that 70 per cent of the waste in our general kerbside bins could have been recycled.

If this waste was correctly placed in recycling bins it would have significantly helped the environment, and saved £1.1million on landfill tax per year, a saving which could be used for other services.

'When people don't recycle it makes me really angry and really sad'

  • Stow Primary was awarded funding last year through 100 Disrupters - a competition from The Hunter Foundation open to young people – to ‘positively disrupt’ their local community by carrying out a series of environmental activities.
  • The school is now on the shortlist for the Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Awards in the Schools Champion category, with the winner announced on Thursday 21 November. Stow is the only Scottish school to make it to the final shortlist.
  • Stow is also one of 19 Borders schools that have signed up for our Zero Waste School Champions pilot project, which runs until early 2020 and aims to help pupils carry out positive schemes to encourage their families and communities to put the right stuff in the right bin.
  • In the video, pupils describe their disappointment when they see people failing to recycle and the impact on the environment, with comments including: “I will be sad for the polar bears if the ice melts” and “When people don’t recycle it makes me really angry and really sad”.

Debbie Matthewson, Stow Primary Principal Teacher

“Our pupils have worked tirelessly over the past 18 months to change people’s mindsets and habits around single use plastic and recycling.

“They are passionate about sharing their learning on the importance of recycling and the negative impact it has globally when items are not being recycled properly.

“Although at times they can get frustrated and sad when they see or hear of people not recycling properly they do remain positive that what they are doing is making a difference and ultimately they hope their voice will be heard."

Councillor Gordon Edgar, Executive Member for Roads and Infrastructure, and Energy Efficency Champion

“Alongside a number of other schools in the Borders, Stow Primary has been leading the conversation in their community on the issue of the environment and we were delighted they agreed to take part in our Millions of Reasons to Recycle campaign.

“The children express their opinions in a fun but also thoughtful manner in the video, highlighting their concerns and the various reasons why recycling is so important. 

“Their message appears to have resonated with audiences on social media, judging by the thousands of views so far.

“The Millions of Reasons to Recycle campaign follows the opening of a new waste transfer station near Galashiels this summer, which means the Borders is now a landfill-free area and should help improve recycling figures.

“However we all still need to do more, which is why we are taking forward the Millions of Reasons to Recycle message.”

Visit www.scotborders.gov.uk/millionsofreasons for more information on the campaign and on what items can and cannot be recycled.

More information

Images are available at our Flickr page.

As part of The Hunter Foundation 100 Disrupters project, Stow Primary carried out the following activities:

  • Being the first school in Scotland to use a reverse vending machine which gives out money for return plastic bottles
  • Plastic spoons in the canteen being swapped for metal
  • Requesting reusable plastic water bottles and litter pickers provided to pupils by parent council
  • Taking part in a local beach clean and clean-up around the school with Surfers Against Sewage
  • Meeting the Tweed Foundation to discuss the impact of single use plastics on the local river system
  • Contacting Scottish Borders Council and NHS Borders around importance of reducing the use of plastic items
  • Creating Reece the Recycled Cow from Stow from recycled materials