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Schools in Tel Aviv took a significant step toward environmental protection the last week of October. The municipality adopted a policy to remove single-use plastics in the school system, according to Hamodia.

To reduce waste in the schools, each kindergarten through third grade student will be given a pouch of washable cutlery and tableware to replace the single-use plastic. Dishwashers will also be added to kindergarten classrooms to reduce burden on cleaning staff. Dishes can also be taken home and washed by students’ families.

The 20,000 children that eat lunch in the schools will now remove excessive plastic from the environment. The policy came after a protest by students and their parents outside municipal building asking for plastic reduction in schools.

Tel Aviv Deputy Mayor Tzipi Brand said of the change, “Aside from the environmental value of the move, the decision is primarily educational: our children are responsible for the future of the world in which they will grow up. This is another step to harness the education system, children and city residents for environmental education, believing that children are agents of change to promote and encourage urban action, to promote sustainability, community and health values.”

Tel Aviv hopes to complete the policy change by the end of the school year. Per capita, Israel is the second-largest consumer of single-use plastic. Plastic is a growing problem around the world, as companies and governments move to reduce it.

Read more about articles about reducing plastic in One Green Planet, including IKEA Israel Bans Plastic Products From Stores and Italy to Tax Plastics and Sugar Starting 2020. 

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