World leading travel company, TUI UK and Ireland, is praising a Laxdale primary school class for their contribution to protecting the environment.

Laxdale Primary pupils’ commitment to combating plastic pollution and a stunning ‘recycled’ turtle wowed judges of a contest run by TUI so much that students were rewarded with a visit from the Marine Conservation Society for an exclusive learning day.

The pupils took part in a competition which was part of TUI’s Better World Detectives programme.  This forms a key part of the company’s sustainability strategy and is designed to use the excitement of travel to stimulate young imaginations and practically engage children in the global issue of sustainable tourism. 

Aimed at 7-11 years olds, the programme provides captivating teaching resources and cross-curricular lesson plans which not only equip students with the knowledge to better understand key issues, but actively encourages them to consider what they can do to help protect the environment.

Laxdale Primary School impressed judges with their creativity and passion to make a difference to the environment.  The pupils created ‘The Plastic Pollution Patrol’, holding a full school assembly explaining all their learnings and replacing all canteen plastic straws with paper straws.  They also worked with the younger classes to create plastic pollution displays throughout the school and created a huge turtle (one of the creatures most at risk from marine plastic pollution) out of recycled bottle tops.

To acknowledge their achievements TUI UK and Ireland organised a special hands-on learning day in collaboration with The Marine Conservation Society.  As well as classroom activities the students explored a nearby beach and went on a ‘rubbish’ treasure hunt looking out natural and litter items and calculating how many years it would take for plastic items to biodegrade.

Betty Hepburn, P7 teacher at Laxdale Primary School said: ‘’The children were really inspired by Better World Detectives and wanted to share what they’d learned with the whole school.  The pupils were so excited to have won the competition and they thoroughly enjoyed their learning workshop with Marine Conservation Society.

‘’It’s really important that this generation is educated on sustainability issues – that’s why it’s great that big companies like TUI are putting resources like Better World Detectives into the education system because that will help eradicate the problems we face.’’

Director of Sustainability at TUI UK and Ireland, Jane Ashton said: “We were so impressed by the pupils at Laxdale; their response to Better World Detectives is exactly what we aim for.  “It’s imperative we understand the importance of travelling and living as sustainably as possible.   As the students demonstrated, everyone can do their small bit, from ditching plastic drinking straws to responsible recycling.  If we all took a leaf out of Laxdale’s book the world would certainly be in better shape!”

Volunteer and Community Engagement manager for the Marine Conservation Society Tara Proud said: “I was impressed with how knowledgeable the pupils already were about different marine species and how energised they were to share their ideas on how we can reduce ocean plastic pollution.  Everyone worked shoulder to shoulder to complete a beach treasure hunt and even collected additional litter items they found on the beach!”

The Better World Detectives programme runs all year round and in July will be extended to include secondary school resources.   To find out more visit www.betterworlddetectives.co.uk