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The First Blog Post

Welcome to our site. It was set up as part of the Erasmus project in Belgium, 2020

“We’ve seen albatrosses come back with their belly full of food for their young. You think it’s going to be squid, but it’s plastic”

— Sir David Attenborough

This blog contains details on plastic pollution, and the options the everyday human has to combat it.


The Packaging of the Future

Sustainable food packaging solutions coming soon to reduce plastic from your meals

174 million tons of plastic packaging is produced each year, and only a fifth of it is recycled. Single use plastic packaging and containers protect food whilst it’s being transported and extend shelf life with added antioxidants or vacuum-sealing. The issue is that these single-use packages last for hundreds of years, even though they are not intended to be used again. Here are some recent innovations for containers which can be easily cleaned or re-used, or which decompose naturally after they have served their purpose.

In no particular order:

  • Some packaged meal kits (products which provide ingredients for home-cooking) are constructed from heavy paper or ClimaCell, a biological foam that dissolves back into cellulostic fibre after use which can be fed to plants.
  • A Swedish institute is testing a compressed biological container that grows with its contents- for example, as hot water is added to frozen vegetables inside the bowl expands to its full size. It would be fully compostable.

The following two solutions are from a competition held by the Pratt foundation. Find out more at

  • The Pratt challenge- a design challenge for eco-friendly food items- had students designed plastic sheets which could be fitted to take-away containers allowing them to be returned to a collection point, cleaned and used again.
  • Another product from the Pratt challenge was a box made from paperboard whose lid could become a spork. The entire kit would be compostable.

Some US food packaging manufacturers are working on “pods” which can dissolve in water, without affecting the food’s texture, smell or taste. These could contain a pasta sauce, and you add the whole pod to the saucepan where it will dissolve, leaving only the contents.

Thank you for reading, and keep your eyes out for these innovations on sale in a local store.

Wallace Hall Academy TV Show Opening

“What a great video!”

Everyone on the Erasmus exchange

Just felt like uploading this here so it doesn’t get lost in the annals of FAT32.

I made this for the Erasmus Project visit to Belgium in 2020. It was also played in Estonia. It is a quickly edited video with some clips and pictures from our school year, and the music is Take Me Out by Franz Ferdinand (which I do not own). Thank you for watching, I will be embedding to this video from the wordpress site I set up whilst in Belgium for the project.

Thanks for watching, it was fun to make.

Meat – tasty or deadly?

People have always loved meat and the 21st century is no exception. Meat consumption has skyrocketed from approximately 75 million tonnes to over 300 – that’s an over 4 fold increase. Eating meat may not seem that bad but sadly it’s one of the most polluting things people do unconciously – for example getting a small burger causes the same amount of pollution into the world as driving a car for 20 miles (about 32 kilometres). To add to that, red meats require approximately 28 times more land to produce than pork or chicken, and 11 times more water. The resulting emissions of red meat production are five times more climate-warming than the chicken or pork counterparts.

               Agriculture is a significant driver of global warming and is the cause of 15% of all greenhouse gases annually half of which are from livestock. A study of british people’s diets found that meat-rich diets resulted in 7.2kg of carbon dioxide emissions, while vegeterian diets produced 3.8kg and  vegan diets only 2.9kg.

               About 90% of  all deforestations can be traced back to the meat industry. Official numbers  say that the deforestation in South America is so serious, that the Amazon has gone from covering 14% of the Earth’s total landscape to just under 6%

               Reducing our meat intake is crucial to avoiding climate breakdown, because food accounts for about a quarter of all human related greenhouse gas emissions. In western countries this means eating 90% less beef. Edible insects have been hailed as a solution to food shortages and reducing emissions. Up until now restaurants and retailers have marketed edible insects as a more sustainable and healthier option, but they should be marketed giving immediate pleasure over distant beliefs. There was a study conducted where 180 participants were offered a chocolote truffle filled with mealworms. From the half whose truffle was marketed as healthy or environmentally friendly only 62% decided to eat it, and from the half whose truffle was marketed as tasty or trendy decided to eat it. The latter group also rated the truffle as tastier.

               In conclusion eating meat is bad for the environment. Studies have shown meat eaters cause more pollution via carbon dioxide than vegans and vegetarians. You can help it by eating less meat, more chicken, fish and less red meats or switching to veggie alternates. The meat industry is making the forest go away by making more cattle farms.


Article by Jan

What is a sustainable food system?

If you’ve been paying any attention to the changing food climate over the past several years, you’ve probably heard a certain buzzword repeated time and time again: sustainability.But what does a sustainable food system refer to, exactly?The answer is complex and composed of many moving parts, but at its heart, a sustainable model in the food system promotes the physical health of the public, the economic health of farmers and producers and the fair treatment of the earth, animals and people.A sustainable food system also refers to an approach that makes the most of the earth’s resources for future generations. It guards against depleting these resources. Why, then, has sustainability not yet been achieved? Perhaps it’s because not enough folks know how to achieve it.

Article by Beno Vandenbulke

Fair Trade & Ethical Clothing Brands (Not plastic related)

On April 24, 2013, the Rana Plaza tragedy killed over 1,100 garment workers in Bangladesh and wounded over 2,200 more. The incident left consumers all over the world questioning who makes the clothes we wear every day and in what kind of conditions? Documentaries like The True Cost shine a light on how the fast fashion industry depletes the earth’s resources and leverages slave labor to pass on a “cheap” cost to the end consumer.
Who makes the clothing we wear and in what conditions?
As consumers, we have become increasingly conscious about our purchases, channeling the power of our vocalized objections to make a positive difference for the people involved in the making of our clothes and goods.
Now, over six years after the Rana Plaza tragedy, dozens of slow fashion brands have emerged that are dedicated to ethical and sustainable practices. The 35 companies we have listed below are some of our favorite ethical alternatives to fast fashion companies. Each one has made it a central part of its mission to approach fashion in an ethical and transparent way that considers both people and the planet.
If you’re making the shift to a completely ethical wardrobe, check out our guides to responsibly-made shoes and fair trade jewelry. If you live in the UK, here are fair trade fashion brands in the UK. Are you looking for secondhand and vintage instead? Check out our guide to affordable places to shop secondhand clothing!

Article by Thibo Koelewijn

The History- Plastic Pollution (PART TWO)

SHOES – 1950

All new sneakers are partly or completely plastic, and most heels are made from plastic. They are almost impossible to recycle as the plastic is stitched into other materials in complex ways.

An issue with blanket-banning plastic shoes is that vegans among others object to animal products, and natural shoes are made from leather.


  • Repair your shoes- superglue broken soles and replace laces
  • Buy fewer shoes, or get second hand shoes
  • Donate your old shoes to charity shops


Trillions of cigarettes are discarded every year in the west alone. They are flicked onto streets or waterways where they leach nicotine, tar and plastic into the enviroment. You may wonder where the plastic in cigarettes comes from- it’s in the filters of the butt.

Cindy Zipf, the executive director of Clean Ocean Action, says that cigarette butts are the top plastic item found on beaches.

Filters were introduced to reduce the harm from cigarettes, they are supposed to reduce the carcinogens in smoke. The irony is that we have seen no decrease in deaths per percentage smokers- there may be no real benefit to them after all.

Electronic cigarettes, the new craze, generate huge amounts of plastic waste, often being chucked away once their battery or liquid has run out.


  • Put your butts in a bin
  • Roll your own cigarettes
  • Don’t use e-cigarettes unless they can be reused

BOTTLES – 1973

In the 1960’s and before, beverages were bought in glass bottles or aluminum cans, Polyethylene terephthalate (PET for short) changed this completely- it was strong enough to store fizzy drinks, and light and cheap enough to slash costs in production and transportation.

Although bottled water costs up to 10 thousand times more that water from a tap, global sales surpassed soft drink sales in 2016.
PET is recyclable, but the recycle rates remain very low. In the United States, only 7% of new PET bottles are recycled. 93% are discarded and break down into microplastics, causing harm to both wildlife and us.

Many countries are considering bans on plastic bottles, and others are introducing public drinking fountains. An engineering firm in Canada reused bottles as the structure for a house.


  • Carry a reusable bottle with you
  • Choose aluminium cans or glass bottles
  • Find dedicated recycling bins for plastics

Thanks for reading. Please consider implementing some of these tips into your life.

The History- Plastic Pollution (PART ONE)

TYRES – 1909

Tires add a lot to plastic pollution. As they rub against the road, the heat generated sheds off bits of synthetic rubber. Rain washes these chemicals off the roads and into the water system, where they make up to 28% of the microplastic waste in the ocean.

Before 1909, all tyres were made from natural rubber. German chemist, Fritz Hofmann was the first to invent commercial synthetic rubber. By 1931, DuPont had industrialised the process.

The tyre problem has only recently been recognised.


  • drive less: take a bus or carpool
  • ensure old tyres are recycled- ask your garage when they are changed

FOOD WRAP – 1930’s

The shrink wrap we see around almost all food products was created from an accident in a laboratory, a residue stuck to the bottom of a flask. Polyvinylidene chloride was born. By the 1940’s, the chemicals were used to make subway seats. Today, the wrap is used to waterproof food, and chucked away after a single use.
Some wraps produce toxic compounds when burned, and others break down into microplastics in our oceans.


  • Look out for reusable wraps- sometimes made of beeswax
  • Store leftover food in glass containers
  • Don’t buy food wrapped in plastic, go to markets where food is fresh and loose.


Modern toothbrushes are completely composed of plastic, from the handle to the bristles. Because plastic takes so long to degrade, nearly every toothbrush made since the 1930’s is still somewhere in the world as a piece of trash.

The US military is to blame for introducing tooth brushing with plastic brushes to the masses. US army troops couldn’t bite the thick paper wrapping off bullets during the civil war, so toothbrushing started in the military. Plastic was introduced to Military kit during World War 2, and the veterans returning brought back their cheap moldable plastic toothbrushes. There was such a demand for them that large chemical companies began production immediately.


  • Buy a bamboo toothbrush and compost the handle when done.
  • Get a toothbrush with a replaceable head.
  • Many dentists can give you non-plastic toothbrushes, sometimes for free!


Billions of plastic straws, forks, knives and spoons are thrown in the bin every year. They take centuries to break down, and always end up in the sea where they are considered the most deadly item to turtles, birds and marine mammals.

When plastic cutlery was introduced, it was considered as reusable as the metal it replaced. However, as it was so cheap, people bought plastic cutlery and threw it out, not having to wash it.


  • Bring reusable cutlery with you
  • Use biodegradable or compostable disposable cutlery
  • Go to France- they are banning plastic utensils in 2020

Thank you for reading, consider some of the tips on what you can do, and look out for Part 2!

Supermarket initiatives to end plastic waste

Several supermarkets have announced in recent years plans to shrink their enormous plastic and carbon footprints. Many new supermarket buildings are designed as Eco-buildings, with sustainable energy powering them and reduced energy costs, with natural lighting and high insulation.

  1. Tesco has announced a new series of initiatives in early 2020- such as banning shrink wrapped multipacks from its shelves. Shopping at Tesco means you will pick up less unnecessary plastic.
  2. Waitrose created dedicated areas in a handful of inner-city stores last year where customers can buy replenishable products- from rice to cleaning products.
  3. Sainsbury’s plans to sell both milk and fizzy drinks in returnable glass bottles this year.
  4. Milk&More, the UK’s biggest doorstep delivery company said that last year 70 thousand new customers signed up to have milk delivered in glass bottles- sign up too at
  5. Marks and Spencers is planning to introduce refill schemes (such as LOOP, read about that in our post- ) in their stores to reduce waste.

Mike Barry, a sustainability expert for M and S, hopes these schemes will succeed, but that the planet’s sheer volume of consumption presents a herculean challenge. Plastic packaging in particular is worth hundreds of billions as an industry, and demand is still growing, particularly in Asia.

“The new sustainable future has to cope with 7.7 billion people consuming trillions of items a year”

“These schemes are exciting alternatives to today’s approach, but the big question is can it be scaled quick enough to stop the ocean pollution crisis?”

Mike Barry

Plastic Milk Bottles

Are they out of the LOOP?

A new scheme to reduce plastic waste from your grocery shop is due to roll out across the United Kingdom next month. The ambitious new online service- called LOOP ( has already been running in the states and France, and they plan to expand to Canada, Germany and Japan.
LOOP sells refillable containers of standard products. It is backed by big brands like Unilever and PepsiCo, and will sell everything from toothpaste to Tropicana. Once you have used the product the empty containers will be collected from your doorstep, cleaned and reused up to a hundred times.

“Loop has the potential to fundamentally change the shopping basket and how customers shop”

Giles Bolton, a director of sustainability at Tesco