How the R-Generation programme is inspiring young people to become recycling ambassadors in the UK

R-Generation, the new education programme from Nestlé Waters UK, aims to equip primary and secondary students aged 7-14yrs with the skills to develop sustainable action plans and become active citizens who inspire positive change in their school community and beyond.

The R-Generation resources provide curriculum links to PSHE, Citizenship, Science and Geography, and offer a whole-school approach to being more actively sustainable. The resources for primary students include a range of interactive activities that can easily fit into day-to-day lesson planning such as an assembly presentation, school launch guide and four workshops focused on key topics such as reusing, recycling and being an active citizen. The aim of the programme is to empower students to take recycling into their own hands, by creating school surveys, interviews and analysis that help students better understand what recycling means for their school and how they can build better habits for the future. To make this a manageable goal for primary school students, the resources showcase simple tips on understanding labels, checking your bins and knowing how to recycle in your local area.

The programme also offers resources for secondary students, which focus on creating a team of R-Generation Ambassadors who create an Action Plan to make their school community more sustainable. Through a series of workshops, students will learn how to lead by example, exploring other young influential sustainability ambassadors to inspire their thinking. These R-Generation Ambassadors will then create a 10-week sustainability plan for their school, featuring school recycling challenges and ideas about how to include their wider school community of parents, councillors and local press to make a difference in their local community.

Emma Barker, Teacher at Grampian Primary said: “The R-Generation programme has equipped my class with important skills to be able to drive a lasting change within the school. It’s helped them to realise they have a voice and are able to communicate their newfound knowledge about recycling and sustainability with confidence. They are immensely proud of the projects they have implemented across the school, and they have helped to inspire others to make small changes to help the environment.”

Hayley Lloyd House, Head of Sustainability at Nestlé Water UK said: “Thinking beyond sustainability and reducing our impact on the environment are at the heart of everything we do, and the world needs everyone to take action and do their bit now, more than ever before. By relaunching the R-Generation programme in a new way, we hope to showcase the variety of simple actions children, schools and local communities can take to create circularity in their organisations that can help reduce their impact. These small changes can have an impact on a global scale and we can all be part of the change our planet needs for tomorrow and the future.”

The R-Generation primary and secondary resource packs are now available to be downloaded for free at: http://r-generation.co.uk/. Nestle Waters UK has been working with RECOUP, which instigates and develops plastics and plastics packaging recycling opportunities, since 2010.

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