Seven-year-old eco-warrior from Eastbourne asks soft play to rethink plastic straws


A seven-year-old Langney pupil has written a letter to a popular Eastbourne children’s attraction, calling on the management to rethink plastic straws.

Langney Primary pupil Heidi O’Reilly is passionate about the environment and said she was ‘saddened’ to see single-use plastic straws being given out to customers. Heidi felt so strongly about the issue, she went home and penned a letter.

However, Treasure Island says they are pleased to tell Heidi their straws are biodegradable and environmentally friendly.

Sarah Warby, manager at Treasure Island, said, “We would like to thank Heidi O’Reelly for the lovely letter she sent us.

“We were pleased to be able to inform her that the straws that we use are biodegradable, as is our takeaway cutlery.

“Last year we purchased a cardboard crushing machine so that all of our cardboard can be taken away to be recycled. We also separate out all our glass waste so this to can be recycled. We are constantly searching for more ways to be environmentally friendly such as, cutting back on disposable products, recycling where possible and changing to biodegradable or compostable products.

“As a children’s soft play centre we understand the importance of protecting our environment for the younger generations to come. We are proud to see that one of our younger customers is so passionate about saving our planet.”

Young Heidi is well informed about the dangers of single-use plastic and in the letter she writes about the importance of ditching the plastic.

She said, “In the UK more than four billion plastic straws are thrown away with many of these ending up in our oceans. Due to the small size of straws they are rarely recycled and can take up to 500 years to decompose.”

Langney headteacher, Ben Bowles, said, “We are very proud of Heidi, who independently wrote to Treasure Island about this issue that we all feel strongly about at Langney.

“In recognition of this, Heidi received a School Values Award for Positivity and Appreciation. We have a group of Langney student leaders that are called the Science Green Team who have eradicated cling film from every lunch box and are planning a park litter pick.”