Over 1,500 school children across the London Borough of Richmond have written impassioned letters to the government demanding urgent change to national environmental policy on the use and disposal of plastics.

The action is taking place to honour the children’s local Richmond resident and celebrated naturalist, Sir David Attenborough, whose 93rd birthday is Wednesday 8 May 2019.

The children aged between 7 and 16, from 17 primary and secondary schools, have written letters in support of Sir David’s crusade against plastic pollution and climate change. The children demand an end to plastic pollution which they say is destroying their future world.

The children are protesting that adults and government are not doing enough to cut back on the manufacture and use of plastic in order to protect the oceans and wildlife.

The initiative is the idea of brothers, Lucas (14) and William (13) Owen-Holt, students of Orleans Park School in Twickenham. They were inspired by Sir David’s Blue Planet, and the suffering caused to wildlife by discarded plastic that he highlighted.

The boys have garnered enthusiastic support from schools across Richmond, Twickenham, Teddington, Hampton, Ham, Mortlake and Sheen to demonstrate support for Sir David’s life’s work - documenting the natural world and determination to bring the devastating man-made destruction of nature to the attention of policymakers.

Says Lucas Owen-Holt:

“We are begging the government to bring in very tough, immediate laws to stop plastic from killing the world that today’s children will be living in tomorrow.

“It’s clear from every one of these letters that children can live without the so-called conveniences such as plastic bags, disposable plastic cutlery, plastic bottles, plastic packaging, plastic toys, and so much more. When weighing up the convenience of plastic with the cruelty and damage it inflicts on our beautiful and irreplaceable natural world, we would rather do without”.

The children are asking for:

A ban on all the following (but not exclusively): single-use plastic including plastic bottles, plastic bags, plastic straws, plastic cutlery, plastic packaging and wrap.

Compostable packaging to replace all plastic packaging in supermarkets, shops, cafes and takeaway restaurants.

Clear, uniform labelling on all packaging so people are crystal clear about what it is and how it should be disposed of.

Every school in the UK to teach children of all ages about the correct disposal of all materials and the importance of buying products that are compostable.

Participating schools include:

Orleans Park School, Turing House School, Hampton High, Waldegrave School, Bishop Perrin CE Primary School, St James’s Catholic Primary School, St Mary’s CE Primary School, , Holy Trinity CE Primary School, Meadlands Primary School, St Richard’s CE Primary School, Hampton Hill Junior School, East Sheen Primary School, St Mary Magdalen’s Catholic Primary School, Thomson House School, Archdeacon Cambridge’s CE Primary School, St Mary’s Hampton CE Primary School and George Tancred Centre.