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Scottish school pupils have the chance to ‘Get Loopy’ thanks to a new partnership between the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Skills Development Scotland (SDS).

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and SDS’s My World of Work Live! have teamed up to create a workshop called ‘Get Loopy’.

It aims to inspire young people to rethink how plastic objects we use every day could be redesigned so they can be collected, and the materials they contain re-used, in continuous ‘loops’, rather than ending up as waste. 

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation was established by the former yachtswoman in 2010.

Ellen MacArthur said: “The equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic is deposited in the sea every minute, and almost every piece of plastic ever produced that has not been burned, still exists.

“The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative is working on solutions that tackle plastics issues at source, so that in future plastics need never become waste.”

Fifteen pupils from Inverness High School were the first to test out the 90 minute ‘Get Loopy’ workshop on Monday 14 November.

The workshop began with a discussion on the benefits and drawbacks of plastics.

“The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative is working on solutions that tackle plastics issues at source, so that in future plastics need never become waste.”

Ellen MacArthur, Founder, Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Working in small groups, the pupils took 45 minutes to redesign an everyday plastic item, like a ketchup sachet, a drinks bottle or a food wrapper. Each group was asked to re-imagine how the products could be created, then disposed of and collected for re-use.

The workshop ended with a discussion of how this hands-on experience re-thinking plastics could inspire pupils’ future careers in science, technology and design.

My World of Work Live! Programme Manager Louise Chisholm said: “My World of Work Live! is a set of interactive exhibits and activities designed to inspire young people’s interest in careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.

“Every free, fun My World of Work Live! experience is about hands-on learning and makes the best use of the latest technology to engage and inspire.

“This exciting partnership with the Ellen McArthur Foundation allows us to bring world-leading expertise on the circular economy to young people across Scotland.”

In Inverness, ideas included a multi-purpose drink and food container that transforms into a game console; a drinks bottle designed with an integrated lid that won’t get discarded when opened, so can be easily collected after use; and an intelligent takeaway lunch pack that can be scanned with a mobile to provide extra information about its materials for easy recycling.

Faculty Principal Teacher of maths and technology at Inverness High School Brian MacDonald said: “The activity here is stimulating the pupils’ creativity and getting them thinking about more than just the products – considering what happens to the environment, as well as being very relevant for the science and technology curriculum they may choose to study later on.”

“This exciting partnership with the Ellen McArthur Foundation allows us to bring world-leading expertise on the circular economy to young people across Scotland.”

Louise Chisholm, Programme Manager, My World of Work Live!

Find out more about My World of Work Live!

Find out more about the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

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