Surveying Students & Teachers
Very early on in the project we decided that it would be important to find out the views of the students in the school, so we would know how we should approach the implementation of this project. We also needed the results of this survey to use as proof of student support in order to gain support from teachers in the school, and to convince others outside of school that this is something students actually want.
Making this survey required knowledge and forward thinking on the project (knowing what information would be useful in the future), and maths and statistics skills, to know how you go about asking the questions in a non-bias, comprehensible way.
Each question in the survey was included to find out important details about student’s usage of plastic, and their opinion on certain things around this topic. The final question, “Would you be willing to get rid of single-use plastics in your school life?” would be especially important in finding out whether the school was really on board with this initiative.
The results of this survey were very interesting and told us a lot about our school and how we view this issue. Some of the most interesting results were: 83% answered yes to Q3 – believing that single-use plastics have an impact on the environment, nearly 70% believe more education is needed in Ireland on the topic, 87% think that we need to reduce the plastic usage in Ireland, and 81% said they would be willing, or they would try to eliminate plastics in their school life.
These results were important to us as we could show definite support from students to carry through with this. In relation to the last question, I think that it’s the attitude of the students that is important, so if they are willing to try then it is enough.
Overall, I think that doing this survey was extremely beneficial to our project as we got a true insight into what the school really thought of this, and we also had something to show for, for example, the results of this were used in the pitch to the staff so we had proof to back up our points.
Parent Survey Results
1.How often do you buy, or supply money to buy, single-use plastic bottles for your child for school?
Almost never -40%
1-2 times a week -16.33%
Everyday – 6.12%
- Do you think that single-use plastics have an impact on the environment?
Yes – 98.37%
Not sure – 0.81%
- Do you think more education is needed in Ireland on the use of plastics?
Yes – 95.14%
No – 2.83%
Not sure – 2.02%
- Do you think it is important to reduce plastic usage in Ireland?
Not sure – 0.81%
- Do you use a reusable cup for takeaway hot drinks?
Regularly – 34.16%
Sometimes – 32.92%
Never – 32.92%
- How often does your child bring a packed lunch to school?
Never – 4.9%
1-2 times a week – 10.2%
3-4 times a week – 22.04%
Everyday – 62.86%
- Would you be willing to get rid of single-use plastics in your child’s school life?
Yes – 79.76%
I would try – 18.62%
I couldn’t -0.4%
I’m not interested/ wouldn’t want to – 1.21%
- How much would you be willing to pay for a no-leak double-walled stainless steel water bottle?
€15-20 – 25.1 %
Note sure 16.6 %
Not interested – 8.1%
- Would you like to purchase a stainless-steel bottle and lunchbox set for your child?
Yes – 45%
- Would you pay extra for unique branding- such as student’s own name on the bottle?
Yes – 45.99%
No – 54.01%
- Would you be willing to offer Plastic Outta the Park team help, in terms of skills, funding etc?
Yes – 30.8%
No – 69.2%
12.Will you sign our pledge to join our campaign to refuse single-use plastic wherever possible, and help change the culture of Newpark and the wider community?
No – 7.92%
247 parents responded to the survey. In general people want education on what can be recycled, the implications of using single-use plastic and alternatives to single-use plastic. Consensus is that people need to be more environmentally responsible. A lot of people seem to think it’s okay to use plastic if it’s recycled. 46.56% of parents agreed that they would pay less than 15 euro per reusable bottle, validating our purchase for the hydro flask that we purchased.
This survey has given our team and school management, a great insight to the consensus of attitude within our community. 92.8% of parents agreed to pledge and support our campaign to refuse single use plastic within our school.