Nestlé Waters has delivered its R-Generation plastics recycling educational program and competitions to schools in its ‘Recycle Cycle’ recycling scheme in Buxton, UK, to educate students about plastics and recycling.
The Recycle Cycle program is a partnership between Nestlé Waters (Paris, France), national recycling charity Recoup (Peterborough, United Kingdom), environmental education provider Wastebuster (Guildford, United Kingdom), High Peak Borough Council and Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, which aims to change people's attitudes towards recycling and show that recycling can make a real difference.
There are education packs for both primary and secondary schools. Linked to the National Curriculum, the packs include content for multi-media assemblies, films, lesson plans and teacher’s notes, alongside enterprise and pledge competitions with exclusive prizes.
The aim was for the program to be delivered in both a cost and resource effective way so it can be used in other areas outside the Buxton scheme.
According to Recoup, there are many key areas of the curriculum which can now be used to educate about the benefits to our new developing thinking about circular resources and economies. Engaging with students provides a ripple effect into the community and drives the behavior change we want to see across society.
In the secondary schools, students explored plastic as a material and they were encouraged to think differently about it using the positive message that plastic bottles collected for recycling in Buxton can become great new products, such as like jeans, football shirts and headphones.
The competition asked students to use creative, enterprise and innovation skills to come up with ideas to engage the public to recycle, whether at school, at home, or on the go, with the winning ideas receiving high street vouchers. Among the entries were fun bins in schools, voting bins where you can use your used plastic bottles to cast a vote against a local or topical question, a recycling token scheme and a cost-effective and sustainable way to recycle at festivals.
Katy Newnham, Director at Wastebuster, says, “The R-Generation program aims to generate a positive social norm around pro environmental waste behaviors. Although schools represent only a small percentage of the waste generation in this country, they house 100% of tomorrow's population—making the knowledge, values and skills they adopt today, essential for a sustainable future.”
Lyn Picken, Communications Manager at Nestlé Waters, says, “I’m delighted that school students across Buxton have had the opportunity to learn about plastic as a material and the benefits of recycling plastic bottles. The new education resources we have developed can be shared so they can be used to bring about a positive impact in other communities.”