Hugo Tagholm, chief executive of Surfers Against Sewage, awarded the Plastic Free Jersey team their certificate for their ongoing campaign to reduce the amount of plastic discarded in the Island.
The objectives that had to be met included involving local government, working with businesses to reduce single-use plastics, raising awareness in the community, holding beach cleans, fundraising, and gathering and submitting data about plastic use.
Mr Tagholm said: ‘It’s incredible to see such an amazing and diverse community of people in Jersey coming together as part of the plastic-free communities movement here.
‘Jersey is a shining exemplar – one of the beacons – of plastic-free action I’ve seen, out of all of the 450 communities we’ve got involved in the scheme around the UK and British Isles.’
The Plastic Free Jersey team, which was founded by Sheena Brockie, Jane Burns and Linzi Hawkin, celebrated the success on Thursday by holding a special ‘design sprint’ workshop at the Radisson, with about 30 GCSE and A-level students from Hautlieu, Beaulieu, Le Rocquier and Les Quennevais schools.
The students were mixed into small groups and asked to come up with solutions to three of the plastic pollution problems facing the Island.
The design sprint was sponsored by Butterfield Group, and the students’ ideas and level of participation were judged by a panel that included Mr Tagholm.
Hautlieu students Gemma Newman and Catelyn Ridgway were chosen as the winners for their contribution to the workshop. They will represent Jersey at the Plastic Hackathon, a conference about plastic pollution in London, in February.
‘We presented all of the students with three challenges, including the problem of microfibres and how to stop them entering our waterways,’ explained Mrs Burns, the Eco-Active programme manager for the States.
Ms Brockie, who won this year’s Pride of Jersey Environmentalist of the Year award, added: ‘The students came up with some amazing ideas. Most importantly, they learned how to work really well together.’
The JEP was among a number of Island businesses awarded plastic-free status at the evening event, which was sponsored by PWC.