• Luke Douglas-Home of Clear Public Space Space

A Future Without Rubbish: Term 1 at William Fletcher Primary School

Updated: Dec 15, 2020

A Future Without Rubbish is Clear Public Space’s environmental education programme which makes pupils “agents” of change in their communities as leaders in the global fight against waste, promoting the understanding of waste as a resource and the circular economy.

We are currently finishing up our first term with William Fletcher Primary School in Yarnton, Oxfordshire.

In the first session of A Future without Rubbish, we had Chris Preston from Defra leading the students in the mantra “reduce, reuse and recycle” and they became agents of change.

In their fourth mission -the end of the first term- they were chanting “reduce, reuse, recycle - measure your waste!” to Jaqueline Gibson from Blenheim Palace, with such urgency.


This shows what amazing agents they are, and how much their knowledge has grown on the subject.

From October, they were given various missions that all interrogated the subject of waste, its disposal the environment and the circular economy. The missions included:

  • finding out how much waste the school produces;

  • investigating their own plastic usage in day-to-day life;

  • developing posters for recycling bins, and;

  • creating their own laws to save the environment.

We also talked with the children about the waste hierarchy- the importance of reduction and reuse as well as recycling, the impact of plastic on the environment and its alternatives, and the interlinked-ness of nature.



In October, the children were asked to imagine going to sleep in a bed full of plastic bags, like the stork who owns this nest had to. Fly 10,000 km from Africa for this?!

And this symbolises our educational approach – to make things tangibly understandable and empathetic.



We finished with an end of term round-up with the introduction of the concept of the circular economy, bringing together all the strands of environmental knowledge they had accrued over the term.

The Parish Councillors, Fiona Mawson and Ian Middleton said of the pupils designed bin posters

“ All the posters were fun, colourful, and to the point – with strong messages about the urgent need to recycle our waste and the harm it is doing to our environment.

It was very uplifting to hear the pupils discuss a variety of subjects, from the circular economy to symbiotic relationships such as fish that clean sharks' teeth! These children seemed better informed and more knowledgeable than many adults we meet.

As Yarnton Parish Councillors it will be great to get the children involved with our village projects and there are plenty of things they can teach us about recycling and re-use, as well as the impact our refuse has on nature. This is about their future as well as ours and we need everyone to be part of it.”

After great beginnings, A Future without Rubbish in Oxfordshire is taking hold.

If you’re a teacher, school councillor or head and would like to get your school involved with A Future Without Rubbish, email us at afwr@clearpublicspace.org for more information, including our syllabus, learning objectives and programme.

Let’s create A Future Without Rubbish.

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