|The Mission Explore group who lead the Pick Up Three Pieces initiative with the award.|
Pick Up Three PIeces began at Glaitness School and we have worked hard to keep it going and to try to get the whole Orkney community and visitors to Orkney involved. Our islands act like a net catching a lot of the litter that is in the oceans. Once a year we have a big clean up but this is no longer enough. With every tide and storm more rubbish gets dumped on our beaches. If everybody picked up a few pieces every time they go to the beach or shore throughout the year we can make a difference. Even just picking up one piece might save an anilaml from eating it or getting tangled in it and drowning. The ocean is full of plastic which doesn't break down, it breaks up into tinier and tinier pieces which eventually end up in our food chain too.
Most litter in the sea comes from the land. We work hard to make sure liiter in our playground doeas not end up in the sea. We regularly use our litter pickers to pick up litter in our school grounds and around our local area. We have put stickers on bins near our school to try to encourage everyone to join in. At some of the beaches there is a big bin with a sticker on it which asks people to Pick Up Three PIeces and gives them some facts about the problem of marine litter.
Orkney Islands Council helps us by emptying the bins, but the people who make it a success are all the people who pick up some pieces of litter. We think when they see us do it they will feel they can do it too and will get into good habits about how they look after their rubbish and how much disposable plastic they buy and how much rubbish they create and how they look after their own rubbish too.
The children have said:
'When you are finished tidying up an area and you look round it and its clean you feel proud of yourself and happy with what you have done.'
'We feel like we are making a difference to animals' lives and the environment'
'Every time you pick up three pieces you are saving some birds or animals.'