The Plume Academy in Maldon was awarded funding through the Climate Action Challenge Fund to host the ‘Let’s Talk Trash’ festival. Supported by Essex County Council, Maldon District Council and Braxted Park Estate, the festival aimed to encourage anti littering behaviours and waste prevention.

The festival was attended by over 300 students aged 11-13 who had the opportunity to broaden their knowledge on how we can all take action on climate change, and the small changes which we can all make to reduce our carbon footprint at home and at school.

Throughout the day, the students were able to attend six different interactive zones which all focused on a variety of different themes around waste prevention including:

Zone 1: Self-Respect: The zone focused on fostering personal responsibility in maintaining a clean environment.

Zone 2: The ‘art’ of ‘Recycling.’ The zone provided the opportunity for students to unleash creativity through the transformative power of recycling.

Zone 3: Love the Essex Countryside: Students were able to discover the importance of the countryside and our green spaces and how we can all take action to protect it.

Zone 4: Essex Wildlife: The zone aimed to educate students on the vital role of local wildlife and develop their understanding on its wider connection to the ecosystem

Zone 5: What’s it Worth: The zone unveiled the impact which individual actions can have on the public purse and the collective difference which positive environmental actions can make.

Zone 6: Making a Difference: Young people were able to learn more about how we can all take action to protect the future of the planet, effect change and make a positive impact on their community. They were able to meet Essex County Council’s Environment and Climate Action team and the Circular Economy Team who spoke about small daily actions which we can take to reduce our carbon footprint. From recycling to composting food waste and using more sustainable forms of transport for the school run such as walking and cycling, there are so many daily actions which we can all take to help the environment which all add up to make a significant impact in the long term.

Students were also able to hear from inspirational and expert speakers in the field. One of the speakers included the Essex Climate Action Commission’s Co Chair Prajwal Pandey, who spoke with students about youth participation in climate action and the development of a new network of climate ambassadors from schools, sixth forms and colleges. They were also able to hear from Lucie Walker-Hutt in Essex County Council’s Circular Economy Team who provided top tips on how to improve food recycling and reduce food waste at home and at school.

As the event was a huge success in 2023, Essex County Council, working in partnership with Braxted Park Estate, is delighted to be hosting the event for a second year on Thursday 17 July.