Waste separation in schools

To the lesson package

Separating waste in the classroom: a logical step and teachable moment.

Visiting an elementary school in Den Ham, the Netherlands, where pupils are used to seperate their waste

Did you know only 5% of Dutch schools separate plastic waste? Today, school waste is regarded as industrial waste making it expensive to separate and recycle. That's why I'm campaigning  for school waste to be reclassified as household waste.

We are excited to share that beginning January 1, 2023, The Waste Fund will be introducing a free plastic collection service for primary schools. Schools have until May 18, 2022 to register for this service. We call on all primary schools to register today at Afvalgoedgeregeld.nl!

The Waste Fund will also be offering free plastic collection to universities, associations and museums, but they must register by May 18th!

Learned Young...

Victor Kaijser Bots made the documentary Wakkere Wegwerpers Tour (in Dutch) - premiering October 30, 2021 at Leiden International Film Festival

Waste separation in classrooms creates teachable moments.

As we say in Dutch, "learned young is done old". We believe that separating waste in the classroom is a 'Life-Hack' that children will carry with them throughout their lives.

Our experience shows that children like to separate waste when they understand its importance. Through the act of separating, children learn about waste, see how much single-use plastic there is, and begin to think about how to reduce and reuse.

Wakkere wegwerpers

Waste Separation Tour 2020

Victor Kaijser Bots made the documentary Wakkere Wegwerpers Tour (in Dutch) - premiering October 30, 2021 at Leiden International Film Festival

In 2020, I made 550 km paddled from Maastricht in the south of the Netherlands to the isle of Schiermonnikoog in the north. Along the way I visited schools - whose students became Bright Binners - and consulted with parties involved in waste management. It seemed like we were on track to accomplish our school waste separation goal, but the packaging industry blocked our efforts.

Thanks to a motion passed by Dutch House of Representatives it must be arranged by 2025.

Wakkere wegwerpers

Waste Separation Tour 2021

To speed up the implementation of better rules, I got on the supboard again in 2021 and paddled 300 km from Den Ham to The Hague. On my way I visited schools, mayors, administrators, scientists and recycling companies.

From them I received hundreds of Wakkere Wegwerpers Wensen (Bright Binners Wishes) with which they asked politicians to make waste separation possible at schools. I presented these to the State Secretary and Members of Parliament.

The State Secretary "Young learning is old doing. So waste separation: not only at home, but also at school."

"We'll do that"

Policy makers supported my proposal for waste separation in the classroom to become the standard practice within 4 years. State Secretary Van Weyenberg, from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, has publicly announced that he backs this measure.

Again a great result! But not yet a 100% guarantee. We will continue our efforts until it has been completed!

Wakkere Wegwerpers 2021

I am not accusing the material, but the way we put it to use. Plastic is a catalyst to our throw-away society.

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