Cobalt waging war on plastics

AFTER learning that by 2050, plastics in the ocean will weigh more than all of the fish, Panania North Public School Year 5 student Cobalt Walsh, 10, is determined to wage his own war on plastics.

He was one of only 20 students and 200 adults chosen, through his affiliation with Scouts, to attend the National Plastics Summit at Parliament House in Canberra earlier this month.
“The day started with me meeting Environment Minister Susan Ley and Prime Minister Scott Morrison,” Cobalt said.
“We listened to the Summit and then talked about different recycling solutions.
“We heard from people who work in the recycling industry and Governor General of Australia David Hurley and Linda Hurley who talked about what we can do to improve the plastic situation.
“We also had creative activities, to help us think about how we use plastics and alternatives.”
Cobalt said he learnt a lot on the day.
“We can recycle 86 per cent of our plastic waste but we only recycle 48 per cent; we can’t recycle toothpaste tubes because they have three layers of plastic glued together but we can recycle plastic bottles into new products about five to six times,” he said.
“I am going to try and get recycling bins at school and encourage the canteen to reduce its use of plastic, including not selling plastic water bottles or giving out plastic straws.
“I’d also like to bring in Waste Free Wednesday, where kids and teachers are not allowed to bring any soft plastics to school.
“Attending the Summit was a great experience and I felt proud to be representing Cubs at 1st Picnic Point Scout group and my school.”
Since returning, Cobalt has also written to Qantas CEO Alan Joyce about the amount of plastic packaging that was around the afternoon tea on the plane on the way home.