CHILDREN GET A PLAYTIME SURPRISE WITH LONG BOAT MADE FROM RECYCLED BAGS AND BOTTLES BY REALISE FUTURES
Thursday 4th June 2015 - Children at Bawdsey Primary School were literally 'stunned into silence' when they saw the latest addition to their playground equipment delivered by Ipswich-based social enterprise Realise Futures Eco Furniture.
The school, which is located close to Anglo-Saxon royal long boat burial site Sutton Hoo, commissioned a long boat made entirely from 100% recycled plastic.
Staff from Realise Futures Eco Furniture's factory at The Drift, Ipswich, made the long boat from recycled plastic planks made out of plastic bags and the equivalent of 60,000 plastic bottles which would otherwise have been destined for a landfill site.
It is similar - but smaller - to the National Trust Sutton Hoo visitors' centre playground long boat, which was also made by Realise Futures Eco Furniture.
Bawdsey teacher Kathy Feakes said: "The school has had its eye on this fantastic piece of robust eco play equipment for several years, and it has finally saved enough money to buy it."
"The children were stunned into absolute silence when they first set eyes on it as we had kept it as a complete surprise for them. After a very energetic and exciting lunch break, the children asked 'can we keep it, is it ours?' It's definitely been a sound investment."
Staff from Realise Futures Eco Furniture finished off the long boat with a flag in the school's colours and logo. They also delivered two benches in the shape of a rabbit and a frog, for the Class 1 play area.
Mrs Feakes added: "The long boat fits perfectly in our location as we are one kilometre from the sea - which we can see from the school - two kilometres from Bawdsey Ferry and the mouth of the River Deben, and in close proximity to Sutton Hoo.
"It provides both active and imaginative play and is accessible to all the children in our school, with provision for children with additional physical needs."
Realise Futures Eco Furniture specialises in manufacturing sustainable, recycled plastic outdoor furniture, such as benches and seats as well as play equipment. All of its products - which are weather proof and never need maintenance - are made from recycled plastic waste including polyethylene bottles, bags and containers which would otherwise be destined for landfill sites.
Realise Futures Eco Furniture won the British Chamber of Commerce's 2013 Sustainability Award in the East of England for its innovative products delivering environmental and social benefits, and has sold its products to leading wildlife attractions such as Colchester Zoo, Jimmy's Farm at Ipswich, and abroad.