Full policy statement
Maths on Toast ‘s Festival of Triangles is a fantastic week-long creative maths resource for schools that culminates in a whole-school family event to construct a huge structure of a Sierpinski tetrahedron. The massive tetrahedron is crafted from smaller tetrahedrons constructed from straws. Unfortunately, paper straws do not work as they are not flexible and bendy enough.
Maths on Toast is fully aware of the of the environmental problems created by single use plastic – the huge amount of plastic waste incorrectly disposed that is washed out to sea, the enormous length of time that even correctly disposed plastic will take to degrade and the potential pollutants released into the earth.
Environmentally aware educationalists must regularly weigh up the educational benefits of creative activities against the fact that certain materials used may not be ideal environmentally.
In our own activities we try to adhere to the reduce – reuse – recycle mantra. Where this is not possible, we ensure that all waste is disposed of responsibly. This is the approach we will take whilst using up our stock of standard plastic straws.
We ask schools that run our Festival of Triangles activity to ensure that all plastic straws are disposed of properly so they will at least not become part of the vast swathe of plastic detritus that ends up in our waterways and the sea.
We would love to be able to discontinue the use of single-use plastic straws for our Festival of Triangles and happily biodegradable alternatives are becoming more widely available.
Biodegradable bendy straws for example have been successfully used at a recent Festival of Triangles and biodegradable cable ties are also now available online.
We welcome advice from anyone who has knowledge or expertise in the field of sustainable plastics – please do get in touch if you can offer advice or recommend further biodegradable or recyclable straw alternatives.