The first SCP in the Netherlands was carried out by a small group of enthusiastic high school biology students. Plastics disappearing in the water surrounding the school (canals) was the main underlaying problem the students choose in their brainstorm session. Students were introduced to the problem of microplastics in lessons before the start of this project as part of the regular school curriculum.
The students noted that many plastic waste was part of the total amount of regular waste in combination with the fact that our school is not separating their waste. Therefore, the students wanted to focus on how to reduce this plastic problem within our school.
The group contacted the municipality Utrecht and learned about their future plans of post-collection waste separation. This changed the direction of the project from plastic waste separation, to ways of reducing the amount of plastic waste produced in the school. Several ways of waste reduction were proposed by the students. The type of plastic waste mostly found in waste bins, was the non-recycled plastic water bottle. By interviewing teachers, fellow students and school staff members, one favorite idea was selected: a durable water bottle, made from green plastic, that they wanted all students and teachers to use!
The team presented this bottle and the implementation plan to the director of the school. He was positively surprised by the idea and promised to make concrete steps after the summer holidays.