Primary school teachers are searching students’ lunch boxes and holding ‘wrap free Wednesdays’ in a bid to stop parents from using plastic packaging.

Schools across New South Wales are conducting ‘surprise lunchbox assessments’ and ‘going binless’ in a ‘war on waste’, according to a report by the Daily Telegraph.

While some parents are supportive of the eco friendly push, others have hit back at teachers for taking things too far.

Some teachers are going as far as to ‘fish out materials that are thrown into the bins’ after lunch time.

‘My mission is to wipe out waste at Londonderry Public School and soon be completely binless,’ wrote one teacher in a school newsletter.

Another school near the NSW Blue Mountains were ‘counting the amount of packaging in each student’s lunchbox last year.’

People argue that parents were time poor and sick of teachers judging what they packed for their kid’s lunch.

‘The lunch box is probably the latest example of critiquing the parents through a process,’ one parent told the Daily Telegraph.

‘While they understand the intention is good, it is not really their core business.’

Another said, “Poor kids being shamed in classrooms. Get a life, no one is perfectly green so shove off.”

“Waste of valuable time! Teachers get on with focusing on teaching!!!!”

Another argued, “Schools are there to educate – and that includes educating pupils on the environmental benefits of cutting down on plastics and packaging. I see nothing wrong in this – however it’s all about doing it in a way that doesn’t inadvertently humiliate a pupil.”

“Teachers???? Or Principals and Education Departments directing teachers to do this? It’s like blaming the check out chic for the price of your groceries going up – they’re just doing what they’re told. Take it up with the people in the decision making positions. Don’t blame teachers.”

Do you think it is a necessity to help fight the war on waste, or is this just another way to shame parents?

Share your comments below

  • I don’t think this is up to the teachers. I’m all for reducing waste, but I don’t agree with teachers doing this


  • Teachers are there to teach not patrol for landfill.


  • Some food such as sandwiches tend to dry out quickly only put in lunch boxes depending on the type of bread you use. Next they will be saying you can’t use plastic lunchboxes.


  • It’s wrong. Teachers are at school to do just that, teach. How the heck can you not wrap a sandwich.


  • I get the whole environment business however these actions are a disgrace, teachers need to focus their attention on educating students in terms of the curriculum.


  • I prepare my kids 21 meals a week. The lunchbox police see 5. Back off!


  • I think this is becoming a joke. It’s about educating people and families but rifling through kids lunches at school is not the answer. It’s a little bit dictatorial and shaming of kids.


  • My son’s Kinder requests nude free lunches. The problem with this is that I simply open the packaging at home (and redcycle it) so this doesn’t actually reduce waste, it only reduces waste at the school. I think it would be better if the school took the waste that was in the kids lunchboxes and taught them what to do with them.

    • I agree. But I think one thing we as parents (not only parents, everybody) could work on is buying things with less waste. Instead of buying strawberries in a container at the supermarket – buy them lose at the farmers market, instead of buying individual wrapped cookies bars chips etc – buy a variation with less packaging or make yourself. It is not going well with the environment, not here not anywhere in the world


  • There is so much rubbish generated at schools. If all children took their packaging home it could make a huge difference. Left over foods could be composted and vegetable gardens started. Something new for the students to learn about.


  • We should all do our part to lessen waste, but no need to bring shame to kids at school, educate them.


  • I would be annoyed, and I would feel sorry for the kids. Imagine someone going through your handbag and emptying the contents in front of your peers.


  • Yes, I got an email of the school of my youngest that they would like to see nude food lunchboxes and have reduced the bins at school. I have the lunchboxes mostly nude, but some foods ask for a wee wrap as they would get wet and soggy from touching the other foods in the lunchbox


  • as far as i am concerned they can go & get stuffed…. If my child came home with a note or a verbal message about something like this i would confront the teacher & the principal & have it out with them…. They have no right to DICTATE what i send to school for my child to eat or how it is sent there. The only thing they can Request is not to sent certain items if there is someone there who has sever allergies. There are parents out there that can’t afford certain things & they should not be singled out either. Yes i am sticking up for a parents right to feed their child any way they can


  • I feel like people are judgmental, we are all trying to do our bit for the environment but life is chaotic enough, so you have to enforce wrap free


  • happy for them to educate kids but they should not try and boss the parents


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