Businesses to challenge students to reduce and recycle plastic in upcycling event

Up to 500 Nottingham Business School (NBS) students will be taking on plastic reduction, reuse, recycling and upcycling challenges from businesses as part of an event designed to tackle the plastics problem.

Up cycling plastic
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Up cycling plastic
Students recycling plastic

Sea Change, which takes place on Wednesday 20 February, will see NBS students devise creative and entrepreneurial solutions to help businesses recycle, reuse and upcycle plastics, or switch to alternative, more sustainable materials which won’t pollute the sea bed.

The challenges will be set by organisations such as Plastics Patrol, a campaigning group working to combat plastics pollution, and VegWare, an eco-friendly packaging and catering disposables company. There will also be tasks from the marketing department and catering team at Nottingham Trent University, plus Oath Project students from NBS will call on fellow students to examine ways to reduce the amount of plastics used on nights out in Nottingham, such as glitter, fairy wings and other fancy-dress accessories.

The challenges will be displayed on boards at Nottingham Trent Students’ Union on the City Campus. Working in small groups, students will be assigned three challenges to complete during the session. Each round will last just 20 minutes, encouraging the groups to think fast and work effectively as a team to generate their solutions. When the buzzer sounds they must post their solutions and move to the next challenge.  

Amanda Thompson, director of Taught Undergraduate Programmes at NBS, said: “We need to work collectively to bring about a ‘sea change’ in our attitudes towards plastics consumption. This event gives our students the opportunity to apply the skills and creativity they are acquiring as part of their degree courses to encourage businesses to reduce, reuse, and recycle plastics and so preserve the environment for future generations. We hope that the organisations involved will receive some practical, cost effective suggestions from the students which they can implement.”First year students at NBS have been working on the problem of plastics consumption and plastics waste reduction since the beginning of the academic year as part of a core module called Personal and Academic Development.

Sea Change follows on from the #NBSDiscover event last October, when more than 1,600 students took to the streets of Nottingham to observe how plastics are used by organisations and the public in everyday life, and what happens to plastics waste generated within the city centre.

Throughout the year the students have attended guest lectures designed to showcase how organisations, consumers, policy makers, governments and global society must recognise and tackle the issues arising from plastics production, consumption and waste.

The final guest lecture takes place on Wednesday 27 March and will be delivered by Dan Jackson, a freelance journalist, writer and content producer who led a major project to transform the production of ITV's long-running Coronation Street into the world's first sustainable television series. At the end of the lecture Dan will announce the winning solutions generated by students at the Sea Change event.

  • Notes for editors

    Press enquiries please contact Helen Breese, Media Relations Manager, on telephone +44 (0)115 848 8751, or via email

    Sea Change takes place at The Level, Nottingham Trent Students Union, City campus on Wednesday 20 February, there will be repeat sessions from 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm.

    Nottingham Business School

    Nottingham Business School is internationally recognised as a business school which combines academic excellence with impact on business and society. It creates globally responsible leaders through ethical, responsible and sustainable management education.

    It is one of three UK Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) Champions. PRME is a United Nations-supported initiative which aims to equip business students with an understanding of sustainability and the ability to make change in the future.

    NBS is also amongst the top 30 UK schools by ranking according to Guardian University League Tables 2018, and amongst the top 20 for both graduate level employability (DLHE) and for student satisfaction (NSS) and as part of NTU holds the TEF Gold award.  NTU has was named as Modern University of the Year 2018 by The Times and Sunday Times and University of the Year by Times Higher Education in 2017.

    NBS was nominated for the Business School of the Year award in the Times Higher Education Awards 2018.

    It holds international AASCB, EQUIS and EPAS accreditation. NBS has held 4* overall QS Stars rating since 2013, with 5* in five categories for the quality of its curriculum, teaching, research, business connectivity and international links.

    It is ranked in the top 95 of the Financial Times European Business School Ranking 2018 and its MSc in Management has also been ranked by the Financial Times as the 97th best Masters in Management in the world (MiM).

    NBS provides a transformational experience for its students through personalised and experiential learning. Each and every one of its students has their learning experience increasingly tailored to their aspirations through the use of academic and industry mentors, analytics, and a comprehensive range of personal development and experiential learning opportunities.

    A leader in integrating experiential learning into the fabric of all courses at all levels, NBS’ pioneering in-company degrees benefit some 200 students through direct sponsorship by blue-chip companies. NBS courses are also accredited by all relevant chartered professional bodies.

Businesses to challenge students to reduce and recycle plastic in upcycling event

Published on 18 February 2019
  • Subject area: Business, management and marketing
  • Category: Press office; Nottingham Business School

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