EIGHT primary schools in the Calne area have joined forces with Wiltshire Wildlife Trust to increase recycling and reduce waste.

The wildlife trust’s waste education team, funded by Wiltshire Council, has launched a Waste Watcher Reward Card campaign, giving primary school children a chance to become Wiltshire Waste Watchers by completing three tasks at home.

Pupils and their parents have already started to make changes including buying loose fruit and vegetables, decanting crisps from a big packet rather than buying separate packs, recycling more unusual materials such as foil and deodorant cans, and using refillable water bottles.

Johnny from Cherhill primary school said: “I weighed the items and put the sticker on the fruit so we didn’t have to use a plastic bag. I also used my bag for life instead of a new one.”

Melanie, mum of a pupil taking part, said: “I thought I was really good at recycling but I didn’t realise that you could recycle yoghurt pots in your blue bin. It was great that we can all get involved as a family to help increase recycling.”

One mum from Fynamore primary school said: “My Jenna hasn’t stopped talking about the ‘special visitors’ that came to her school yesterday. She was telling me about the beach with too many bottles, and how they could have been recycled into new things. It certainly had a big impression on her. Thank you for everything that you wonderful people do. We will kick the waste."

Waste Education Officer Aisling Hunt added: “It is great to see so many schools involved. The children are really excited about recycling. Rubbish is such a huge issue and hopefully the children and their families will see that small changes can add up to make a big impact."

The school that returns the highest percentage of cards after two weeks wins an up-cycled art piece for their school by local artist Anya Beaumont.

Participating schools are Fynamore, Cherhill, Derry Hill, St Edmund’s, Marden Vale, Hilmarton, Heddington and Holy Trinity. You can see how your school is doing in the inter-school challenge at wiltshirewildlife.org.