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Appeal for Donations of Old Dinghy Sails to Upcycle for Schools Litter Picking Project

27th January 2021
Old dinghy sails are upcycled into bags for the Picker Pals initiative Old dinghy sails are upcycled into bags for the Picker Pals initiative

Primary pupils in Ireland are taking a stand against litter in their area via a unique schools-based programme that makes used of upcycled sail cloth.

And organisers are appealing for donations of used dinghy sails to transform into specialised bags for its ‘Picker Packs’.

Picker Pals — which is an initiative of environmental NGO Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment (Voice) — motivates and equips children with packs containing everything they need to go on a litter-picking adventure.

Classrooms are provided with bespoke story and activity books, in both Irish and English, and litter-picking tools which are taken home by a different child every week.

At the end of the programme’s first year in operation, Picker Pals says over 115 schools have got involved — with plans to expand to many more in the coming year.

“It’s not just about learning about litter, it’s not just about becoming aware of litter,” says Picker Pals creator and children’s author Patrick Jackson. “It’s about actually getting out there and picking up litter. Picker Pals gets children onto the first rung of the environmental ladder.”

Picker Pals programme manager Angela Kenny adds: “Litter picking can have a really positive impact on our mental health and wellbeing, getting people out of the house, relieving stress and anxiety and giving a great sense of achievement and empowerment. It is a perfect lockdown activity.”

Despite the fact that schools are out for the next few weeks, children with the Picker Pals pack are encouraged to take a well-earned break from their online learning and home schooling to help pick litter in their local areas.

In addition, Picker Pals is appealing to the sailing community for suitable old dinghy sails to donate to the project. For details of how to contribute, see the Picker Pals website HERE.

Picker Pals need your old dinghy sails

Published in Coastal Notes
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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