Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle.

Curriculum Examples

  • English –  write a balanced argument about whether single-use plastics should be banned.
  • Science – identify a series of everyday materials and their properties, can they be recycled?
  • Physical Education –create and use a ‘Junkyard Gym.’

Visit our Waste Pinterest for more exciting ways to implement the 5Rs.

Eco-Schools National Waste Survey

If you are a staff member, parent, governor or any other member of the school community, please take the time to complete our quick and simple National Waste Survey. This survey will provide valuable insights into how the Eco-Schools England team can encourage more recycling in schools throughout England – it can also be used as evidence towards your Eco-Schools Green Flag Award.

Complete National Waste Survey

(Re)Love Our Stuff

(Re)Love Our Stuff focuses on the issues of reusing and recycling by allowing pupils the chance run a pop up clothes shop.

(Re)Love Our Stuff Seven Step Guide

(Re)Love Our Stuff was developed by Eco-Schools and Keep Britain Tidy’s Centre for Social Innovation. Inspired by the Eco-Schools Seven Step Framework, (Re)Love Our Stuff gives your pupils the chance to manage a real life project that delivers measurable environmental savings.

Other Actions

Further ideas to lower waste at your school including some fantastic tips from an award-winning Eco-School.

Damers First School Eco-Crew: Ten Tips to Becoming Plastic Free

Eco-Schools experts The Eco-Crew from Damers First School, have written a fantastic guide to help other schools reduce the use of plastic in their schools. You can read their absolutely fantastic tips below (written 100% by children) and if you want to create a guide to help other schools reduce their impact on the environment the Eco-Schools team would love to see and share it!

Damers’ Ten Tips to Becoming Plastic Free


Terracycle are a global leader in recycling hard-to-recycle waste. They offer a range of free recycling programmes, so you can start collecting in your school, or alternatively, if there is already a scheme in your area they will tell you where it is and how to get in touch.

Begin recycling with Terracyle

Local Authority Waste Services

The Waste Services department of many councils will offer free support to schools, ranging from helping to organise litter picking events to delivering recycling workshops in your school. In our LEA Support Pages you can find the contacts of many Waste Authorities – if yours isn’t there tell them to get in touch and the Eco-Schools team will add them on.

Eco-Schools LEA Support Pages

Waste Topic Award Winner, Eco-Schools Award Ceremony

Dean Trust Ardwick litter picked, introduced reusable bottles and even invited Manchester City Council in to help when working on the Eco-Schools Waste topic.

Read about Dean Trust Ardwick

School Examples

Cherry Orchard Primary School

During Spring Term, the Eco-Committee at Cherry Orchard Primary School in Worcester focused on reducing the amount of waste generated by their school community.
First, they discovered that the Tetrapak cartons they use in school were recyclable in their usual recycling collection, providing they are cleaned properly. The Eco-Committee, Gardening Club and Reception Team are now responsible for cleaning these cartons. This means that Cherry Orchard are now preventing between 500 and 600 Tetrapak cartons from going to landfill each week.
The Eco-Committee then decided to sign up as a Terracycle hub for crisp packet recycling - so far they have recycled over 7,100 crisp packets whilst also raising funds for their school. The Eco-Committee use weekly newsletters and assemblies to encourage their classmates to pester their family and friends to collect crisp packets for them!
For the second year running, they are also taking part in Duracell's amazing Big Battery Hunt and are currently filling their 6th!!! barrel of used batteries - they manage to collect so many batteries through hosting a termly competition to see which year group can collect the most batteries.
As younger children receive free fruit snacks, fruit waste has also been an issue in the school. Now Cherry Orchard collect their waste and feed it to their three on-site wormeries. The wormeries turn this waste into liquid fertiliser, which can then be used on their allotment and sold to parents under the catchy name of 'Vitamin Pee.'
Cherry Orchard are constantly looking for new ways they can reduce the waste produced by their school and its community. Most recently they have discovered and signed up to a dental product recycling scheme . They have received their collection box and pupils, parents and grandparents have already begun dropping off old toothbrushes and finished toothpaste containers.

School Website

Christ the King Primary School

The Eco-Committee at Christ the King Primary School in Liverpool decided to tackle the issue of food waste for their latest Green Flag. After seeing supermarkets around Liverpool appealing for food bank donations, hearing (from Mr Rivera their school cook) that their school produces a lot of food waste and then learning that there are many people around the world starving - the Eco-Committee decided to take action.
The most important decision they made in their food waste action was to include Mr Rivera in their discussions - they learnt the company he works for already tackles food waste by receiving donations of food close to its 'best before' date from supermarkets (otherwise this food may be wasted). Mr Rivera then agreed to use the blackboard in the canteen to display the lunch menu so that children know what to expect when queuing up. Finally, with the Eco-Committee Mr Rivera worked to improve the school menu: the Committee told Mr Rivera the food they enjoy eating most and then they decided to make the lunch menu flexible e.g. if you order fish and potato wedges this usually comes with beans, but now if a child doesn't like beans they can swap for an alternative like peas. Now children are enjoying their lunches more than ever and the school is producing much less food waste!

School Website

Damers First School, Dorchester

Children in the Eco-Committee and Entrepreneur Club at Damers First School worked together to design, make and market an eco-product called Waxtastic No Plastic, the children even designed their own logo!

Waxtastic is a piece of 100% cotton material dipped in Dorset beeswax and dried. It is used as an alternative to cling film to wrap or cover all foods except meat. It is 100% eco-friendly.

The children sold their product outside a local supermarket, at a farmers market and even at festivals over the summer holidays. They have raised an extraordinary £3350 so far and are planning to use this money to create a nature area (with a pond)!

School Website

Woodland Community Primary School, Skelmersdale

The Eco-Committee at Woodland Community Primary School decided to participate in Eco-Schools National Call to Action (Re)Love Our Stuff: a project aimed at tackling the stigma surrounding second-hand clothing by putting pupils in charge of planning and promoting a second-hand, pop-up clothes shop. The pupils on the Eco-Committee loved planning their shop and their schoolmates were very excited to go shopping, even school staff and parents managed to buy things for themselves and relatives. The survey they completed before and after their action (Step 5: Monitoring and Evaluation) showed a massive change in attitude towards second-hand clothing. It was such a success the Eco-Committee at Woodland have planned to introduce a (Re)Love Our Stuff shop every term!

Check out our (Re)Love Our Stuff Guide above!

School Website

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