“I started teaching in 1969. I’ve talked about sustainability, I’ve talked about global warming, I’ve talked about resource management all my career. Glaciers melting, rising sea levels, fires in Australia, these things I taught in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s through to this century. I’m disappointed we’ve reached this stage which we could have avoided decades ago, and we’re only now realising these consequences.”
So says retired geography teacher Oliver Sterno in the short film Rubbish is Rubbish, which documents the work he has been doing with Eastbourne primary schools to change attitudes to single-use plastic and the environment in his hometown.
Oliver’s own Damascene moment came when he watched David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II. He started cleaning the beach around Holywell every Friday afternoon. It was there someone suggested he set up a group to establish Eastbourne as a plastic-free community. In December Plastic Free Eastbourne achieved that objective – meeting five targets set by Surfers Against Sewage a year ahead of schedule.
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