Through the 3-month pilot, more than 1,338 pupils learned about the importance of recycling and collected 1,5 tonnes (1574 kg) of cardboard – that is equivalent to more than 300 domestic wheelie bins.
The DS Smith Young Recyclers scheme encourages school pupils to look after the planet by helping them to understand the importance of recycling and the circular economy through fun and engaging educational materials.
To mark the completion of the trial, students at Lower Halstow Primary School celebrated the success of the pilot with an assembly attended by Gordon Henderson, MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey, who showed his support for the Young Recyclers scheme. As part of the assembly, pupils learned more about the circular economy and protecting natural resources through DS Smith's Let's Go Circular! lesson, adapted for a younger audience. The lesson plan was recently launched at the COP26 climate conference and is designed to help teachers engage their students on the circular economy.
During the 3-month pilot, pupils got actively involved in recycling by bringing cardboard from home into dedicated collection boxes at their school where it was collected weekly and turned into new packaging papers at DS Smith's Kemsley paper mill in Kent, the largest mill for recycled papers in the UK.
Mr Gordon Henderson, MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey said: "I was delighted to visit Lower Halstow Primary School and see DS Smith's Young Recyclers pilot scheme and Let's Go Circular! lesson plan in action. It is great to see schools and businesses working together to engage local children in recycling and the circular economy."
Michelle Crowe, Head of School at Lower Halstow Primary School said: "The Young Recyclers pilot has sparked an interest in recycling with the children and truly shown them how little steps can make a big difference. The children have thoroughly enjoyed the activities and Lower Halstow Primary School is proud to have been part of the pilot, which – together with the Let's Go Circular! lesson – has been a useful tool in teaching about these important topics in a fun way."
The schools initially taking part in the Young Recyclers scheme were Lower Halstow Primary School, Sunnybank Primary School, Teynham Parochial Church of England Primary School, Thames View Primary School, and Thistle Hill Academy.
DS Smith state that The Young Recyclers scheme and the Let's Go Circular lesson plan are part of their commitment to engage 5 million people in the circular economy and circular lifestyles by 2030.
The Let's Go Circular! lesson plan is a downloadable resource developed for ages 11 to 14, and provides a useful set of assets to help teachers and anyone working with young people to introduce them to the circular economy and explain how we can all play a part in protecting the planet's natural resources. A pack can be requested online at https://www.dssmith.com/lesson-plan.