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Canteen Letter

12 Aug 2020 - YouthY We Are Here

The Y NSW Forward Thinking- Social Impact Project is an Online Leadership Program for young people across New South Wales.

Supported by NSW Government's Youth Opportunities Grant, the project has been working with over 50 young people, providing training in leadership and personal development.

The Canteen Support project is a call to action for local canteen to consider using more environmentally friendly packaging options to support a cleaner environment.

Y NSW Youth Leadership Team

Dear School Canteen Manager

3rd August 2020

I hope you are doing well in this uncertain economic situation. As both a member of the school at which this canteen is situated and the Y NSW Environmental Youth Leadership Group, which is a group of young people aged between 14 – 18 from across the whole of NSW that are passionate about the environment and are wanting to make a difference. We are concerned about the effects pollution has on the environment and believe that you could make a quintessential difference.

During my last visit to your premises I couldn’t help but notice the amount of packaging that came with the available food options. While packaging is an essential part of your products, I believe that switching to a more sustainable and recyclable type of packaging would be beneficial to your business and the environment.

Straws and single-use plastic in general have been receiving a lot of media attention. France for example has done away with single use plastic cups and cutlery, similarly to Seattle. Even McDonalds is looking for plastic straw alternatives. While straws may seem small, in Australia alone we use 10 million plastic straws a day. Currently 8 million tonnes of plastic winds up in the ocean every year, most of which is single use plastic, responsible for the killing of over 100,000 marine animals annually.

Our team asks that your canteen adopt a new outlook, which includes working towards developing an environmental plastic free policy. You can find out more information by visiting
This will significantly decrease the amount of single-use plastics that you go through having a positive effect on the environment and the bottom line. As well as this we ask that you consider the using an affordable alternate packaging distributor.

We have included in this package samples of recycle packaging, straws and napkins, as well as the details of a distributor. Our overall aim is to not only benefit the environment but also the school canteen image.

I really hope that you’ll take this request into consideration. Regards
On Behalf of The Y NSW Environmental Youth Leadership Team

Cathy Guion
YMCA Y NSW Environmental Youth Leadership Team Facilitator                    0403 498 322

NOTICE: Any views expressed in this communication are those of the individual sender, except where the sender specifically states them to be the views of the YMCA. The Y NSW Leadership Teams are young people who are supported by the YMCA to deliver projects important to them.

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