A company which manufactures outdoor furniture and buildings from recycled plastic has won a national award for its work in creating an outdoor classroom for a Hertfordshire primary school.
Marmax Products won a Green Apple Environment Award and will now become a Green World Ambassador, demonstrating environmental best practice to others.
Marmax worked with Welwyn St Mary's Primary School to create an outdoor classroom, pond-dipping platform and open-air stage - all made from 100% recycled plastic. The nature reserve is now one of the largest of its kind in Hertfordshire while the Welwyn Outdoor Classroom – as it is now known - has become one of Marmax's standard products and is in use at schools throughout the country.
Marmax, which is based in Stanley, County Durham, won the award against stiff competition from around 200 other organisations. Jackie Robshaw, General Manager of Marmax, and Tracey Scott, Sales and Marketing Manager, were presented with the trophy by campaigner Doreen Lawrence, the mother of murder victim and trainee architect Stephen Lawrence, at the Green Apple Environment Awards ceremony in Swindon. Jackie and Tracey will also be attending the House of Commons in November to receive a plaque in recognition of the Marmax's role as a Green World Ambassador in 2014.
Jackie said: "We are delighted to win the Green Apple Award. The outdoor classroom was the first in the UK to be made out of recycled plastic and has inspired other schools to follow suit. Recycled plastic is a durable and environmentally friendly alternative to wood and is a good way to demonstrate to children how recycling can minimise waste and our impact on the natural world."
Sarah Ellingworth, Treasurer of the PTA at Welwyn St Mary's, said: "Our classroom fits beautifully into our outdoor space next to the trees and nature reserve. It is a multi-purpose room as it is used for role playing as well as a classroom. The addition of this classroom has transformed our use of the outdoor space and given us the capability to have outdoor lessons more easily."
The Green Apple Awards are run by The Green Organisation, an independent, non-political environment group and supported by the Environment Agency, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, the Chartered Institution for Wastes Management and other independent bodies.