Bright Binners Tour

Waste separation in elementary school is coming up! This way pupils learn to deal with waste more consciously.

In 2020 I made a sup tour through The Netherlands and visited several primary schools. Pupils – Bright Binners - asked in a petition to be able to separate (plastic) waste in the classroom.

But school waste is commercial waste and therefore separation is too expensive for most schools. We wanted to change this but the packaging industry refused to cooperate.

D66 & CDA, two maior political parties, then picked up on the issue. Thanks to their motion, this will soon be possible!

Seperate plastic litter

Video Bright Binners Tour (in Dutch)

We wanted children in schools to learn to separate waste, especially plastic litter. In this way they learn what waste is, how much waste our disposable society produces, what this means for the plastic soup and how to feel responsible for handling waste.

Learned young is done old. The sooner children learn the importance of responsible disposal, of using less disposable packaging and of recycling, the sooner we can tackle the (plastic) waste problem.

School waste = commercial waste

Bright Binners petition for the Mayor

But it turns out that most schools only separate paper because all other waste at school is considered to be commercial waste.
Because of the high costs, this ‘commercial waste’ is not being separated at schools. A separate contract must be concluded for each separate waste stream. Therefore, all waste goes in the big pile. That had to change.
In September 2020 I made a sup tour on a board made of plastic litter through the Netherlands and visited eleven primary schools, whose pupils became Bright Binners.

Bright Binners Petition

Bright Binners Petition

They pleaded for less waste, waste separation and recycling. They did this with a petition asking the mayor to make plastic waste separation possible at school.

But the commercial waste problem and the high costs of waste seperation in schools also had to be solved.

Along the way I spoke to all Dutch stakeholders in the field of waste seperation, among others the Minister, waste collectors, Afvalfonds, Coca Cola, Supermarket companies and the Council for Primary Education.

Waste seperation Manifesto

This led to a Manifesto which argued for less waste, separation of waste, recycling and raising awareness in the classroom. Only the packaging industry - Afvalfonds, Coca Cola, Albert Hein and Unilever - refused to sign the Manifesto at the last minute.

As a result, it was just not possible to get waste separation underway quickly.

This was reason enough for D66 and the CDA to take action.

Motion passed

Members of Parliament Van Eijs (D66) and Von Martels (CDA) have submitted a motion as a follow-up to the Bright Binners Tour to ensure that, within four years, "waste at all primary schools can be handed in and processed separately, with separate streams for organic waste, PMD and waste paper/cardboard, at no extra cost."

This motion was passed by the House of Representatives on February 25, 2021!

With that, the Bright Binners Tour is a success. With one long sup-tour through the Netherlands we succeeded in raising the awareness of students, stakeholders and politicians. And to make a real change.

Now the hope is that this motion will serve as a crowbar so that the garbage from high schools, sports clubs and museums will also count as household waste.

Forcing breakthroughs

Read more about our strategy of agenda setting, activating people, connecting and forcing breakthroughs.

FIGHTING PLASTIC SOUP AT THE SOURCE

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