Eliminating Single-Use Plastic, The Glasgow Academy

The Glasgow Academy participated in Micro-Tyco Innovate, a 30-day entrepreneurial training programme that teaches students about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The students were encouraged to create Responsible Business ideas that champion the SDGs in their school or local community. One team from The Glasgow Academy eliminated single-use plastic bottles from their campus.

SDG Addressed:

Inspiration: From learning about how single-use plastics are polluting the ocean, students at the Glasgow Academy came up with a solution to tackle the problem in their local context.

Innovation: Students did an audit of plastic use in their school and discovered that they were consuming 30,000 plastic bottles a year from a single vending machine. In response to this, they put together a proposal to remove the vending machine and give every student a reusable bottle instead.

Execution: The team ran an assembly on the knock-on effects of plastic use at their school. This inspired a member of the audience, a 13-year-old girl, to start a petition to remove single-use plastic from the school. Within 3 days, 500 pupils had signed it. Using the petition as leverage, they took it to the school leadership team. After hearing their pitch, the vending machine was removed. Taking their idea a step further, the team collaborated with designers and suppliers to manufacture branded reusable water bottles to sell on campus. This significantly reduced the amount of plastic pollution their school produces.