PLASTIC bags have been banned by a St Ives school and teachers have been given energy saving light bulbs in a bid to help save the planet. St Ivo School has launched a major initiative to gain full eco-school creditation. To help achieve this, the school has become a plastic bag free zone with bags for life being supplied by Waitrose. Canvas has also been purchased for art students to allow them to design their own bag for life. Head teacher Howard Gilbert said: "Now that St Ivo has the status of Humanities College we are learning to follow a path that is more environmentally and ecologically sound than one that has been trod in the past." The initiative will see Fair Trade tea and coffee supplied in the staff room, with the first batch provided by Co-op and Fair Trade issue taught in Year 8 geography classes along with lessons on recycling, global warming, and renewable fuels. Other energy-saving initiatives include careful monitoring of the school's heating and use of electricity. Also every classroom has a recycling box and two large skips of cardboard and paper are recycled every fortnight saving the school \u00A33,000 on refuse collection. Mr Gilbert said: "Already savings have been made in an attempt to make the school as energy efficient as possible. The premise manager is proud of the fact that the school's energy consumption over the year has fallen by 50,000 units from the previous year." He added: "This is a superb example for our St Ivo pupils as citizens of our world. "The message to all pupils is that the world is changing and St Ivo must change with it, particularly in the way we think about our environment." Eco-schools is the national Green Flag Award scheme, and 60 Cambridgeshire schools have registered with this scheme. Seven have already gained their green flag, while others are working towards achieving it. Cllr Martin Curtis, Cambridgeshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Children, said: "This is an excellent scheme, and one we wholeheartedly support. I am delighted that so many schools in Cambridgeshire have shown such enthusiasm for it.