Devon pupils look to the future at waste summit

THE future of Devon s waste will be in the hands of 80 secondary school students during the seventh Don t Let Devon Go to Waste summit on Monday 30th March.

THE future of Devon's waste will be in the hands of 80 secondary school students during the seventh 'Don't Let Devon Go to Waste' summit on Monday 30th March.

Young people from eight schools across Devon have been invited to attend this event at County Hall in Exeter to tackle the issues surrounding waste.

Students will also work in groups to discuss plastic packaging, how to lead a more sustainable lifestyle and even produce a radio advert to promote the 3Rs - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle to Devon residents. They will also listen to presentations on marine pollution and hear from students of St Peter's School in Exeter about how they made huge waste to landfill reductions at the school.

The summit will be opened by the deputy chairman of the Devon Authorities Waste Reduction and Recycling Committee, Torridge District Councillor Adam Symons.

"The Don't Let Devon Go To Waste summit is a fantastic opportunity for students from around the county to learn about waste issues," he said.

"Although the broad subject of rubbish and recycling are widely publicised in the media, we don't often get a chance to explore the complex issues around consumption. This event equips young people with the knowledge so they can make informed choices when purchasing items from clothing to food and make general lifestyle decisions, without preaching to them. We hope young people will discover that their behaviour can have a positive impact on our beautiful county."

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Devon County Council's Executive Member for Environment, Councillor Margaret Rogers, said: "Last year, Devon residents threw away over 390,000 tonnes of waste and, despite the huge support for recycling schemes throughout the county, the majority of rubbish is still sent to landfill. Currently, 50% of Devon's rubbish is either recycled or composted, however national figures suggest that if we all did our bit we could recycle or compost around 65%.

This event will show these young people they have important lifestyle choices and that the future lies with them."

Viridor Waste Management is sponsoring a 'waste free lunch' competition at the event. Students are encouraged to bring packed lunches which generate the least amount of waste possible and the winners get �150 for their school.