An educational programme devised to engage the next generation in the importance and benefits of plastics recycling has launched in schools in Buxton.
‘R Generation’ is a programme developed between partners Nestle Waters, RECOUP and Wastebusters aiming to change attitudes towards recycling.
It is providing primary and secondary educational resource packs that combine multi-media assemblies, films, lessons plans and teacher’s notes, alongside enterprise and pledge competitions with exclusive prizes in order to stimulate interest both in and outside of school.
“With the UK plastic bottle recycling rate still under 60 percent and legislative drivers and rising costs of sending material to landfill, there is a clear need to educate and engage with the future generations,” commented Steve Morgan, RECOUP’s Technical Manager.
The primary school pack aims to help students understand the recycling journey of plastic bottles, with a ‘Pledge 4 Plastics’ competition inviting pupils, teachers and their families to pledge to recycle one more plastic bottle every week through the project to win ‘Baby Busta’, the UK’s first 100 percent rPET soft toy, made from five recycled plastic bottles.
The secondary school pack explores plastic as a material, innovations in recycling, as well as the psychology behind our attitudes and behaviour towards recycling. It is designed to encourage students to think differently about plastic, and use creative, enterprise and innovation skills to encourage better use of plastic recycling facilitates in their school, at home and on the go. Their competition asks students to come up with ideas to engage the public to increase recycling, with the winning ideas receiving a prize and promoted through the partner networks.
After a successful ‘R-Generation’-themed assembly at Buxton Community School recently, Headteacher, Craig Yates, commented: “The students have found it fascinating to explore the science, technology and engineering behind plastic production and recycling but also to understand the important role the consumer plays in 'closing the loop’.”
The programme is being trialled in Buxton with a view to being made freely available to schools nationally.
Katy Newnham, Director at Wastebuster commented: “Young people need more opportunities to express their ideas and opinions on recycling. If the enthusiasm they have shown in this project can translate into their campaign ideas, they could be exceptional.'