Plastic-free Xmas 2021

The ‘Plastic free Christmas 2021’ competition is part of a United Nations Global Goals initiative, Microplastic Free 2030.

Microplastic Free 2030 aims to educate 1 billion children across the world about microplastic pollution and ways to stop it. 


The Most Reverend Primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury


St Joseph’s Specialist Trust. Cranleigh.

St Joseph’s Specialist Trust caters for young people aged 5 – 19 with complex and severe learning difficulties, many of whom are on the Autistic Spectrum, and other associated difficulties.

This term they wanted staff to share creative vision so invited anyone to become an arts ambassador. They have creative ambassadors from therapies, education, finance, cleaning and catering. Alison, their cleaner took responsibility for the eco tree. She was keen to help the children understand that they can make pretty things using recycled plastic- free materials. As well as filming the fun for this competition she also entered it in the local church tree competition.

Two of the students represented in this film are residential and spend most of their time living on site. COVID has drastically reduced their recreational opportunities so this was a lovely project which brought joy as well as learning to the group.

Ashperton Primary Academy, Ledbury.

At Ashperton Primary Academy, instead of cutting down trees at Christmas they have planted over 400 trees (between them and their Tanzanian partner school). They created their own sustainable tree from scraps of material that were not good enough to be passed on or worn again. The entrance wreath was made by the children and created from scraps of wool that the local community didn’t want anymore. Every class was encouraged to make a sustainable decoration or gift. These ranged from felt top calendars to sewn scrap teddies. They also discouraged Christmas cards.

Staunton-on-Wye Endowed Primary School, Staunton-on-Wye.

Staunton-on-Wye Endowed primary school was asked to decorate Christmas trees for the local church. The Eco-Committee decided that instead of using normal decorations, that can be full of plastic, each class should make plastic-free decorations using recycled materials. Class 3 (Years 5 and 6) used recycled cardboard to create hanging stars and recycled sheet music into Christmas trees. The children also took time to reflect on the past year and wrote their own wishes on parcel tags – some of which were environmentally linked e.g ‘I wish the oceans to be free of plastic and more fish to be in the sea’. 

Trinity Beesley, Woodlands Primary School.

Trinity saved paper received throughout the year as packaging to re-use as wrapping paper for Christmas. She also loves to make festive decorations using things found around the home. So for example, she made her own crackers using old cardboard kitchen roll tubes and re-used paper and she made a tree decoration using paper cake cases. She also used rosemary from the garden along with dried slices of orange and cinnamon to make some lovely decorations that smelled very Christmassy too!

Centre for Big Synergy also congratulates the runner ups and thanks all participants for their inspirational initiatives for making Christmas plastic-free.