07 Nov 2018
Three children that have created circular solutions for waste contact lenses, plastic bottles and scrap material have showcased their products to Scotland’s First Minister at a major event.
Ten-year olds Zara Ali, Kryzsztof Tyczak and Marysia Cmiel from St Vincent’s Primary School, presented a reusable pen made from contact lenses, gardening tools made from plastic bottles and a cushion made from scrapped material, after a challenge tasked them to think of circular solutions.
The Circular Economy Challenge, hosted by Young Enterprise Scotland (YES) in partnership with Circular Glasgow, a Glasgow Chamber of Commerce initiative, and funded by the Scottish Power Foundation, encourages primary school children across the city to think about ways to create their own circular economy.
Working with 30 schools across Glasgow, YES has introduced into the curriculum the importance of reducing waste material while challenging students to develop their own business ideas.
Zara, Kryzsztof and Marysia presented their ideas at the Circular Economy Hotspot 2018 to Nicola Sturgeon, following her announcement that there is opportunity for a £1bn boom for circular businesses in Scotland.
A circular economy is one in which every product is created with the intent of ‘zero waste’, ensuring all raw materials can be repurposed or upgraded to extract every possible usable element to maximum value.
Primary students across the city are creating and marketing their own products or services and are set to present to a panel of industry experts on Wednesday 28 November.
A number of businesses have teamed up with the project to offer support and advice to the students by coaching the young entrepreneurs through the process of generating their ideas.
The partnerships, facilitated by Circular Glasgow, includes representatives from Revive Eco, Society Waste, Kabloom Seedboms, Repair Café Glasgow, EGG Lighting, re:ply skateboards, Changeworks Recycling and IntelliDigest, who have been working with individual teams to help develop their business plans and encourage creativity among products.
Marie Leck, Circular Economy Programme Executive at YES, said: “We were very proud to be involved in the Circular Economy Hotspot event and it was great to see young people speaking so passionately about a circular future.
“Our innovative practical workshops encourage youngsters to think of ways businesses can run effectively and successfully in a world with finite resources by making their own sustainable products.
“We’re really excited about the future of circular economy education and looking forward to working with organisations like Circular Glasgow to encourage young people to embrace sustainability.”
Alison McRae, Senior Director at Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: “We’re well on the way to becoming Scotland’s first circular city and as the momentum builds among the business community, it’s vital to instil the same kind of thinking within our youngest generation.
“Glasgow Chamber of Commerce sees the circular economy as an opportunity to future-proof our city, and as we do this it makes sense to teach the city’s future business leaders to develop sustainable solutions.
“We’re thrilled to be supporting this Young Enterprise Scotland initiative and inspire our city’s children to join an exciting movement that will impact our future.”
Circular Glasgow, hosted by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland and funded by the European Regional Development Fund, works with companies across the city helping them to open up new revenue streams, increase competitive advantage and realise financial savings using a range of practical tools.
Circular Glasgow complements Zero Waste Scotland’s and the Scottish Government's nationwide support for SMEs to develop circular economy business ideas, including its £18million Circular Economy Investment Fund and Circular Economy Business Support Service. Both are supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the £73million Resource Efficiency Circular Economy Accelerator Programme.