Balcombe boy battles plastic waste one bottle at a time

Jake Ritson showing off his recycable bottle that he designed
Jake Ritson showing off his recycable bottle that he designed

An eight-year-old boy from Balcombe has been awarded for his efforts on tackling plastic pollution.

Jake Ritson entered a poster competition, along with other pupils from Balcombe C of E Primary School, led by Wastebuster and Recycle Now.

Katy Newnham and Deborah Urquhart with Jake and his award-winnning bottle

Katy Newnham and Deborah Urquhart with Jake and his award-winnning bottle

The children at Balcombe won the challenge by submitting the best poster design under the theme of ‘plastics’.

The Plastic Planet Challenge launched on World Environment Day set out to encourage plastic recycling in schools and households.

Pupils were invited to create a poster about recycling and litter prevention to beat plastic pollution – with the winning designs printed on a set of customised reusable BPA-free bottles for their school.

Jake won the challenge for Balcombe by submitting the bold design of a message in a bottle saying ‘litter things matter’ and a turtle in the ocean which stood out to the judges and met the brief for the competition theme.

He said: “My grandparents have taught me all about recycling and Sir David Attenborough said: ‘More than eight million tonnes of plastic reaches the sea every year. There will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050.’

“It’s very shocking, so I wanted to create this poster to encourage children to remember to recycle and ditch one use plastic bottles.”

Wastebuster’s founder, Katy Newnham, said: “We want to help the next generation develop a respect, compassion and connection with the natural world, so they might feel driven to protect it.”

The school held a ‘fun-filled’ assembly which was attended by county council cabinet member, Deborah Urquhart to celebrate its success in the national Plastic Planet Challenge competition.

At the assembly she explained why recycling plastic and reducing plastic pollution is so important, and highlighted that the small actions we make can make a big difference.