It is important for pupils that they have all the materials they need to gain a good education. However, it is also important that the whole lifecycle of the materials used is considered when choices are being made.

Pupils have a good awareness that different raw materials are required to make the everyday objects they use, and may be aware that many of these raw materials are becoming harder to extract.

Throughout all the things that a school does, it is helpful to remind them of the 3Rs — Reduce. Reuse and Recycle. Waste is also an area that easily links to pupils’ lives outside school. Do they apply the 3Rs to the materials and resources they use outside school?

See our full range of Waste Partners who can help your school with this topic.

Project idea 1 – Recycling
Many schools still do not have a well-functioning waste management system. Getting the basics right around the collection of paper, cardboard, bottles, food and plastic is a great way to start. Through the Environmental Review step an Eco-Committee will identify which materials are going to landfill and in what quantities. Their project could be as simple as installing paper recycling bins in every classroom and setting up a rota to check the right materials are going in them.

Project idea 2 – Cradle to Cradle
When we think of ‘waste’ we often just think about the stuff we find in bins, but waste doesn’t start or end its life in a bin. Pupils could look at where waste comes from in the first place and how it could be prevented. Projects might involve working with a local manufacturer to re-design packaging. Could an Eco-Committee work with a local food or drinks company to explore new options for boxes, containers or bottles that minimise waste?

Home Recycling Challenge
Have you signed up for the Home Recycling Challenge yet? We’ve linked up with Wastebuster and Recycle Now to highlight this fantastic campaign that not only allows for great exploration of the Waste topic in schools, but also helps to get the messages home to parents and family members – providing the perfect evidence for the Informing and Involving step of Eco-Schools. There are prizes to be won, free resources and seven brilliant films presented by the very funny Captain Busta.

The challenge is open to all primary schools in the UK until 25th September, so head to the amazing Mission Launch site and sign your school up now!

Lesson Prompt
Educate your students around the On-Pack Recycling Label. The OPRL aims to increase recycling of packaging in the UK by delivering simple recycling messages on grocery, DIY and health and beauty products. This is to help more people recycle more packaging correctly. 7 in 10 people now recognise the label thanks to the 500+ brands using it.

Why not use this great short film about the labeling to kick-start a lesson on recycling.

Waste Pinterest

Interactive Eco-School

You can find a greener version of pretty much everything your school uses; pencils, carpets, uniforms, energy. Here you can investigate how you can ‘green’ your school

Interactive Eco-School