These Dublin school children are on a mission to get rid of party bags – and I fully agree with them
Two things kids – and parents – definitively don't need more of: Sweets and plastic.
As a mum of two children slap bang in the middle of primary school and that crazy birthday party era, let me tell you this: I HATE party bags.
I hate my children getting them – just more plastic junk we have to throw out about five minutes later, and after a party filled with sweets and cake, even more sweets to fight with them over.
I have once gifted traditional party bags after a party too – and I hated that in equal measure, almost feeling guilty for bestowing all this crap upon other parents.
Because the thing is – in my view, the entire tradition is just crazy, and I don't know if it has been the done thing in Ireland since forever, but growing up in Norway myself, I never encountered a party bag until after my move here.
Children who have just been to a party with their friends and played and had fun and ate cake and treats – they don't need more treats and sweets to feel like they have had a good time. Forget me for being blunt, but to me, this is just feeding into a culture of indulgence and greed and gluttony. Which, as we all well know, is not really what our health needs, nor or struggling planet.
Which is why I literally feel like these Dublin schoolkids on a mission to end the use of single-use plastic party bags are my spirit animals in every way.
According to RTÉ News, the six members of the 'Party Bag Busters’ group are all third class pupils at St Clare’s Primary School in Harold's Cross, and their aim is to highlight how damaging single-use plastic party bags are to the environment.
"Through our research, we know there are approximately 678,000 children in Ireland between the ages of four and eight," nine-year-old Seóna Laing, a member of 'The Party Bag Busters,' explained to RTÉ.
"So this year we estimate they’ll receive five plastic party bags at birthday parties. That’s over three million party bags ending up in landfills."
The environmentally conscious initiative is part of the pupils' entry for the SEAI One Good Idea schools competition, a competition that encourages children around Ireland to engage with climate action and to explore ways to live more sustainably.
The 'Party Bag Busters' goal? To encourage the use of more environmentally-friendly alternatives to party bags.
Nine-year-old Hugh Dowling, another member of the group, suggests that children can, "bring a little toy to a party and you could swap it for someone else’s toy".
The 'Party Bag Busters' will present their initiative at the Leinster semi-final of the SEAI One Good Idea schools competition later this month.