Kerry GRABS the waste problem in Mid Argyll

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Recent recruit Kerry MacKay has wasted no time in getting stuck into other people’s waste in her role as Mid Argyll and Kintyre project officer with recycling organisation The Grab Trust.
In this article, adapted from the trust’s quarterly ‘Flotsam and Jetsam’ bulletin, Kerry outlines some of her activities.

Glassary Primary School pupils drove almost an hour to the stunning Kilmory beach for a Marine Conservation Society (MCS) survey and beach clean.

We collected 1.75kgs of litter and played the limpets game before heading back to the school. We did the Plastic World workshop, looking at the global problem of plastic in the oceans and technologies that have been developed to address the issue. This includes the Fishing for Litter game where speed and accuracy with the litter pickers can win your team a prize.

Glassary Primary School invited me back for another day of fantastic learning. In the morning I worked with P4-7 doing a Waste Free Christmas workshop followed by the new World Climate Summit workshop, which involves the children role-playing as world delegates in the UN Paris Climate Summit, discussing and deciding their emission targets that I programme into a simulator to see if they can agree to limit global warming to two degrees C or less.

This workshop highlights the global scale of the issue, with the rich countries getting tables and chairs and the poorest countries sitting on the floor. The children got really engaged and were disappointed when time was up.

After lunch, I did a story-telling and drawing workshop with the P1-3 class. We even had megalodon sharks and a ‘Save the sharks’ news article drawn by the pupils.

Achahoish Primary School arranged a joint beach clean with the fish farm Hendrix Genetics. I was invited to help them do an MCS survey with the pupils working closely with fish farm employees. We then did a beach clean and collected 10kgs of litter plus a large heap of tangled netting and rope.

Lochgilphead Cub Scout Group were keen participants for an evening of marine litter-themed games. We played the limpets game then the teams battled it out on the Sea and Learn floor mat game covering reduce, reuse and recycle topics. Finally, we played the Fishing for Litter game based on the fisherman in Indonesia to learn about a plastic economy and test their maths skills.

Mid Argyll Duke of Edinburgh Award Group allowed me to sow the seeds of beach clean ideas in an evening session with the new Bronze Award participants. I pitched the idea of adopting a beach and organising beach cleans and MCS surveys for the volunteer section of their award. I am thrilled at least two participants to date have confirmed they plan to do this and I look forward to supporting them.

A huge thank you to everyone who has participated so far. I look forward to meeting many more of you in 2020 for more fantastic learning adventures.