Schools celebrate launch of ‘Young Recyclers’ pilot scheme

Schools across Kent County Council in the UK are taking part in a new recycling pilot scheme to encourage future generations to look after the planet.

The DS Smith Young Recyclers Scheme is partnering with five primary schools to help children between the ages of 3 and 11 to understand the circular economy, and how everyone, including children, can start making a difference to the environment around us.

‘Zero Hero’ recycling boxes have landed at schools, with pupils filling these boxes with cardboard from their homes. A weekly collection is in place, with all the cardboard collected going straight to DS Smith’s mill in Kemsley, Kent, ready to be turned back into packaging.

The initiative will also provide supporting materials that explains more about the circular economy.

“At DS Smith, we want to lead the way towards a more circular economy, through engaging and educating our people, our industry and the next generation,” said Stephanie Dalton, Innovation Manager, DS Smith. “We are delighted that the children are involved in this project, and we’re really looking forward to showing them how little steps can make a big difference.”

The Young Recyclers Scheme took fruition following a project with Cardiff Metropolitan University,  where the next generation of product designers were challenged to re-think ‘The Last Mile of e-commerce Delivery’. Toby Edmunds, who was on the University team that created the Young Recyclers concept, has since joined the team at DS Smith to see the idea become reality. “Across Europe, e-commerce is now growing at 7% per year, creating a relentless demand for packaging,” he said. “Finding practical, sustainable packaging solutions to keep pace is going to take leadership, new partnerships, and new thinking. It has been an absolute joy to not only be involved in the concept, but to now work at DS Smith overseeing the project. It is exciting to see the schools’ involvement and the children’s joy at contributing to this scheme, and we hope that, if successful, the scheme will be rolled out nationally to make an even bigger difference.”



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