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Tallinn children learn to reduce waste and reuse items

Tallinn children learn to reduce waste and reuse items

Over the past two years, a comprehensive environmental education program has been conducted in Tallinn’s kindergartens and schools, teaching children to reduce waste and reuse items. The program involved 125 kindergartens and 55 schools, and activities were also held at public events, engaging approximately 31,300 children in total.

Deputy Mayor Margot Roose highlighted that the aim of the program was to raise children's environmental awareness and teach them the basics of a circular economy. “When children learn about waste reduction and sorting from an early age, it becomes a lifelong habit,” said Roose. “It’s wonderful to see so many children participating in the program, who now remind their families about the importance of environmental conservation.”

The program ran from September 2022 to the end of the 2024 academic year. During this period, 1,290 lessons were conducted: 558 in kindergartens, 565 in schools, and 167 at public events. The mascot “Prügihunt” encouraged children to recycle and sort waste. Children were also educated about the issue of marine litter. A total of 15,740 coloring books were distributed to kindergarten children, and 15,550 workbooks with environmental tasks were given to students.

Prügihunt delighted children at many events, such as the LHV Maijooks, the youth song and dance festival, Tallinn Old Town Days, and the Tallinn Marathon. In collaboration with AV Media Partners OÜ, an educational video titled “Prügihunt Teaches Waste Sorting” was produced and shown on ERR Jupiter’s Lasteekraan and ETV2.
Since 2001, Tallinn has focused on raising children's environmental awareness. “Awareness-raising activities targeted at different groups to foster environmentally friendly habits are extremely necessary. It is most effective when started from a young age. Therefore, we will continue to conduct the educational program in kindergartens and schools in the coming school years,” said Roose.

The new program period will start on June 15, 2024, and run until June 14, 2026. In addition to children aged 5-7 in kindergartens and students in grades 1-3, the program will now also include 4th graders. The program will be conducted in Estonian, with linguistic support provided for non-native speakers if needed.

The program “Preventing and Reducing Waste Generation, Reuse and Recycling, and Fostering the Habit of Sorting Waste” is carried out by the Circular Economy Department of the Tallinn Strategic Management Office in cooperation with OÜ Üritusturundus.