BMW Ireland have announced a long-term partnership with VOICE (Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment) an environmental NGO, to deliver a school-based litter-picking programme to primary school children across Ireland. Picker Pals is designed to address the problem of waste in the environment, raise awareness of circular economy solutions and foster environmental stewardship in children and families.
With the support of BMW Ireland and BMW’s Retail Network, 2,400 children in 100 classrooms will benefit from receiving this fun, engaging and environmental educational programme. Each classroom receives a ‘Picker Pack’ which includes resources for teachers and children to engage with in the classroom, at home and in the community. The Picker Pack includes everything needed to go litter picking as well as story and activity books, in both Irish and English. This pack is taken home by a different child every week who leads a family litter-picking adventure in their local area. Recently, they report back to their classmates. There’s even a Picker Pals TV show and plenty of online resources for the family to enjoy.
“It’s not just about learning about litter. It’s not just about becoming aware of litter. It’s about actually getting out there and picking up litter. Picker Pals gets children onto the first rung of the environmental ladder. Thanks to BMW Ireland’s generous corporate partnership, we will now be able to grow the programme significantly and reach more children and schools around the country,”said Patrick Jackson, Picker Pals Founder.
Kevin Davidson, Managing Director, BMW Group Ireland said, “We aim to be a leader in sustainable business practices and this ambition reflects the work we are doing in all relevant aspects from our supply chain to the production of our cars, and through to being a corporate citizen and doing good for our local community.” “This clever initiative motivates and equips children to understand the challenges we all face in our local environment on a daily basis. We are proud to support a programme that will foster greater environmental awareness and action in our children,” continued Davidson.
Picker Pals was conceived less than three years ago and has grown to include 1,060 schools and almost 1,300 classrooms all across the country (see map below). On any given weekend in Ireland there could be over 1,000 children out litter-picking with their families and with BMW Ireland’s support an additional 12,000kgs of litter will be removed from communities. The programme’s growth is set to continue throughout 2023 with support from the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and local authorities. The programme is actively looking for more corporate partners. Litter-picking has many benefits besides the impact on the local environment. “Litter-picking can have a really positive impact on our mental health and wellbeing, getting people out of the house, relieving stress and anxiety and giving a great sense of achievement and empowerment,” says Picker Pals Project Manager, Angela Kenny.
Picker Pals is now actively looking for schools to join the programme for the 2022-23 school year. Apply here if you would like to take part.