Waste Minimisation

Waste is what people throw away. Scotland produces about 20 million tonnes of waste a year.  About 20% of that is household waste – that’s almost 2 tonnes for every house in Scotland, every year. 

Eco-Schools At Home Activities

Build Your Own Wormery

Watch Rachel from The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland explain how to build your very own wormery and find out how to take care of these fantastic ambassadors for recycling!

Build a wormery

Single Use Plastic - #EcoSchoolsAtHome

Even though a large part of the plastic that we use can go into the recycling bin, the collection of these bins might be altered as some local authorities won’t have the usual number of people working, and some waste centres will be closed. So what better time to look into alternatives to recycling!

Find out how much single use plastic you use.

Our Waste Collection Services - #EcoSchoolsAtHome

As Scotland adapts to Coronavirus, and some of us help by staying at home, many others are helping by continuing with their essential work. Some of these jobs involve the collection of waste and recycling from households and roadsides. Can you imagine what the impact would be on all of us if these services were withdrawn?

Investigate waste collection services

Featured Resources

Eco-Schools Curricular Map - Waste Minimisation Topic

Our revised curricular maps showing Experiences and Outcomes related to the Waste Minimisation Topic. 

Download the curricular map for Waste Minimisation

Low Carbon Skills - Films and Classroom Resources

These film resources have been made by pupils in schools across Scotland.  Find out why it’s so important to know where products come from and why many businesses are trying lower their carbon footprint.  These films will perhaps encourage your pupils to take action and make better consumer and life-style choices.

Watch Low Carbon Skills films and download teaching resources

Climate Challenge Fund - Waste

The Climate Challenge Fund supports projects that reduce carbon emissions caused by waste of resources. Projects have worked to reduce over-consumption, encourage the reuse of items, extend the life of everyday items through repair and maintenance and promote recycling of materials.

Have a look at some case studies, or find a funded project in your community.

Glasgow Cup Movement

Almost 500 million single-use cups are used in Scotland each year: an unimaginable number of cups that we are throwing away. And, if only 4% of these are currently recycled, what happens to the remaining 96%? Most go to landfill, but far too many just end up littering our beautiful country.

Join our cup movement

Single Use Plastics Resources

Upstream Battle - Keep Scotland Beautiful

Coming soon - a showcase campaign focusing on the Clyde to stop marine litter at its source.  Sign up for campaign updates and help stop litter's journey from source to sea.

Join the Upstream Battle

Low Carbon Skills - Never Refuse to Reuse

A film produced as part of the Low Carbon Skills - Textiles Resource. Thank you and well done to the S4 pupils at Kirkcaldy High Schoo who produced this film

Watch Never Refuse to Reuse

UN Environment Programme - Beat Plastic Pollution

It’s time for a change. There are so many things that you can do – from asking the restaurants you frequent to stop using plastic straws, to bringing your own coffee mug to work, to pressuring your local authorities to improve how they manage your city’s waste.

Find out how you can beat plastic pollution

CBBC Newsround Guide - Why is Plastic a Problem

A great guide to the plastic problem featuring a video report from the plastic busting Eco-Committee from Damers First School in Dorset.

Read more about why plastic is a problem and watch the video

Helen Graham - Plastic Fantastic: The Musical

Plastic Fantastic? is a musical that tells the story of plastic on this planet, from the invention of Bakelite over 100 years ago through its development to the mass production of plastic after the second world war.  It goes on to acknowledge the unacceptable levels of plastic waste pollution we are facing in the 21st century, asking what can be done to improve the situation or if it’s too late. It ends with a message of hope and determination to bring change.

Helen Graham (author and composer of Plastic Fantastic? the musical) has kindly made the musical freely available for use.


Curriculum-linked resource



Song - Chain Reaction

Trailer (video)

Full performance (video)

Sky Ocean Rescue

Launched in January 2017, Sky Ocean Rescue aims to shine a spotlight on the issues affecting ocean health, find innovative solutions to the problem of ocean plastics, and inspire people to make small everyday changes that collectively make a huge difference. Full of videos, resources and stories on how you can #PassOnPlastic. 

Download resources and watch videos

The Facts About Plastic - Plastic Oceans

Plastic Oceans Foundation engages people of all ages, in all social situations, to understand the danger of continuing to perceive plastic to be disposable.  Plastic Oceans tackles this issue through an awareness campaign using film and media – including the documentary feature film, A Plastic Ocean and accompanying resources including The Plastic Inside Us Toolkit and a high level science review for A Plastic Ocean.

Download resources on ocean plastics from Plastic Oceans

Practical Action - Plastics Challenge

Pupils Investigate the properties of plastics then find solutions to problems caused by plastic waste globally. An exciting new challenge for pupils aged 8-14 years to develop solutions to the problems caused by plastic waste globally.

Download Plastics Challenge activity

Stride Global Citizenship Magazine - Journey of a Plastic Bag

Map the journey of a plastic bag from supermarket to ocean using a photograph sequencing activity.

Download Journey of a Plastic Bag

Departement Omgeving - Zack's Journey

A great story for Early Years about the journey of a plastic bag from the shop to the ocean. Shared with the kind permission of the Eco-Schools National Operator for Flanders - Departement Omgeving

Read Zack's Journey

Food Waste Resources

Don't Waste Our Future

A joint European Manifesto of Young People and Local Authorities to promote Food Waste Reduction and the global Right to Food.  Jointly written by young people from across Europe including pupils from four Scottish secondary schools. Young people also produced food waste campaign materials which you can use in your own school.

Have a look at the Food Waste Reduction Charter

Zero Waste Scotland - Food Waste Monitoring Toolkit for Schools

Toolkits for your catering team and for teachers and pupils. The catering team toolkit is for monitoring kitchen waste (preparation waste, spoilage and unserved meals). The teacher and pupil kit is for monitoring plate waste from the canteen.

Download the Food Waste toolkit and get your waste sorted

Zero Waste Scotland – Love Food Hate Waste Education Pack

Through a variety of engaging and easy to use inter-disciplinary lessons your learners are given a voice in the fight against  food waste and will further understand this significant problem facing our world today. They are able to contribute directly in a positive and tangible way to reducing the amount of food we throw away.

Download the Love Food Hate Waste Education pack

Recycling Resources

Zero Waste Scotland - Resource Efficiency Pledge

Zero Waste Scotland have produced a Resource Efficiency Pledge for businesses which contains lots of great ideas that you could use within an education setting to plan action. 

Take the Resource Efficiency Pledge

Zero Waste Scotland - Schools Resource Efficiency Programme

Learn how to save energy and money in schools, with this e-module for teachers. Test your eco-knowhow and swot up on solutions – from scrap paper to switch-offs to setting up an eco-group.

Visit the Resource Efficiency E-Module

Zero Waste Scotland - Resource Efficiency Guide for Schools

A resource guide to complement the Resource Efficiency E-Module for educators.  Assess and improve your use of Energy, Waste and Water and use Zero Waste Scotland's report card templates to track your progress.

Download the Resource Efficiency Guide

Recycle for Scotland

Recycle for Scotland provides advice and information on how to recycle, helping to protect Scotland's natural environment and make our communities nicer places to live in.

Find out what you can recycle in your area, and how the recycling process works.

Stride Global Citizenship Magazine - Waste Timeline

Use a timeline to explore the amount of time it takes for a variety of materials to decompose and therefore have varying impacts on the environment.

Download Waste Timeline Activity

Textile Waste Resources

Love Your Clothes

Every year an estimated £140 million worth of used clothing goes to landfill in the UK.  There is absolutely no need for any clothing or textiles to make its way into a bin and this is both a significant environmental loss and a missed business opportunity.

Love Your Clothes was launched in 2014 to help inspire and influence consumers to make small conscious changes to reduce the impact of clothes on the environment.

Find out how you can Love Your Clothes

Paper Waste Resources

Recycle Devon - Papermaking

What better way to help pupils understand the circular nature of recycling than taking paper from your classroom recycling box, setting up your own ‘recycling factory’ and making beautiful hand-made paper?

Download paper making instructions and watch videos

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