12 Nov 2020

Zero Waste Initiative

With a focus on reducing Island School’s carbon footprint and making it a more sustainable place, the environmental ambassadors from WANBO have launched an ambitious zero-waste initiative through an assembly (re-watch here) on 12 November, 2020.

Led by Sean Lee (11N) and Sam Hui (11W), students have set up a recycling station at both campuses. As well as continuing to recycle paper, aluminium cans and general plastics, they are now offering a service whereby the wider community can bring in other waste items to be recycled. These items include Type 2 (HDPE) and Type 5 (PP) plastics, food and liquid cartons and polystyrene. A brief overview of each project is outlined below:

Plastic Waste – Type 2 (HDPE) and Type 5 (PP) plastics will be collected, shredded, melted and then extruded into different moulds to produce items such as benches for the local community, lamps and other useful items for daily life. All of this will take place within the school by our very own Circular IS team and our Design & Technology Department.

Polystyrene – This will be collected and then with the collaboration of our Science Department dissolve it in a mixture of D-Limonene, lecithin and water. After an hour, the solution becomes usable glue, which will be bottled to use in school.

Food and beverage cartons – These again will be collected and this time sent to Mil Mill is the first pulp mill and education centre that recycles these beverage cartons in Hong Kong. This will be converted into paper pulp and turned into toilet paper, which we will then use at school.

Environmental ambassadors are therefore seeking your support. Rather than throwing these types of waste away at home, please can they be washed and cleaned before being brought into school to be recycled through one of the projects above. For the food and beverage cartons please follow these instructions in regards to how to clean and prepare them.

“This has been a rewarding experience for us in many ways,” said the WANBO student leaders. “It has been a great opportunity for students to engage in issues they care about through hands-on learning. It has really developed our creativity and critical thinking skills. We have been absolutely delighted by the tremendous energy of the volunteers, and the superb effort they have put into the project. Through research and direct action, we have become much more aware of the possible impact of waste.”

We hope that you will join us in supporting these environmental initiatives as we continually strive to recycle more of our waste and in doing so, protect our fragile planet by using fewer virgin materials.

Should you have any queries in regards to this initiative please contact Ross Burrough (ross.burrough@online.island.edu.hk).