From green box to greenhouse

Work in progress: Children from Widden Primary School in Gloucester use bottles to create parts of t

Work in progress: Children from Widden Primary School in Gloucester use bottles to create parts of the greenhouse - Credit: Archant

Gloucestershire-based Widden Primary School has taken on a challenging educational project to build a greenhouse out of 1,000 plastic bottles!

Donated by Printwaste Recycling & Shredding, the recycled bottles have not only been used to create the greenhouse structure, but have also provided ‘grow-bags’ for plants, been used to create carrier bags and helped to support a wheelchair charity.

Sally Robins, Printwaste Director, said: “Each year we support a school with an Eco-project and this year we were amazed by not only the ingenuity of the teachers, but also the enthusiasm of the pupils at Widden Primary School. What they have done with 1,000 plastic bottles, which originated from homes in Gloucestershire, is nothing short of amazing! These kids and this project can certainly teach the rest of us a thing or two about recycling and reusing.”

How the bottles were used:

· Building a greenhouse: Added to a timber frame structure produced by some of the staff, the plastic bottles were stuck together to make wall and roof panels. The plastic offers insulation, lets in light and is a great, low-cost replacement for traditional glass houses.

· Making carrier-bags: Believe it or not, the labels from the plastic bottles were soaked off and dried in the sun; they were then stuck to sheets to create quirky patterns and combined with cereal packets to create carrier bags; a great alternative for shopping!

· Charitable donation: The tops of all 1,000 bottles were saved and more were collected, before being sent off to a charity that buys wheelchairs. Exchanged for money, the revenue will be used to purchase additional wheelchairs.

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· DIY ‘grow-bags’: cut lengthways or using the bottoms, the plastic bottles were filled with compost produced from the school’s fruit waste; these were then used to nurture the seeds and give them space to grow in the greenhouse. Plants included cress and rocket.

As well as getting hands-on and learning in this educational project, the children also benefitted from an ‘Eco-Festival’ which included activities and workshops to help with recycling education and caring for the environment. Also in attendance were representatives from schools in Poland, Czech Republic, Italy, France as well as Devon, who have partnered on the event. Printwaste Director, Sally Robins, who attended the event, continues “the commitment from the staff and pupils at Widden Primary School cannot be underestimated. I had a fantastic afternoon with them and am honoured to have been included. It’s great to see Printwaste’s donation put to such good use.”

Meanwhile Heather Jones, a representative of Widden Primary School, wrote a poem to Printwaste from the school in celebration of the event:

Please bring in bottles.

Don’t throw them away.

We’re building a greenhouse.

With bottles, you say?

With help from Printwaste

We built it in haste.

And believe it or not

There was no waste!

The labels were stripped,

Washed and dried in the sun,

Made into gift bags for visitors

From the European Union.

Exciting learning and a fulfilled future,

We look forward to working with you more and more.

Recycling and bins are just part of what you do.

To Sally and all at Printwaste,

Widden Primary School says a BIG ‘’Thank you!’’