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Recycled bottle tops bring students’ designs to life

Recycled bottle tops bring students’ designs to life

Thursday 26 September 2019

Recycled bottle tops bring students’ designs to life

Bottle tops are avoiding landfill and instead bringing school students' product designs to life thanks to an ingenious contraption created by a local teacher.

Design Technology students at Les Quennevais are recycling plastic bottle tops into a raft of 3D-printed creations with the help of a machine built by the Head of Department, Mr Daniel Ferguson.

In an effort to teach students about the properties of materials like plastic in a sustainable way, the school is asking for islanders to drop in their unwanted bottle tops so that their design students can turn them into something new.

Whilst plastic drinks bottles are widely recycled, often the lids cannot be processed by recycling plants.


Pictured: Some of the students' creations from the collected bottle tops. (Les Quennevais School)

Mr Ferguson’s machine breaks the bottle tops down so that his students can use the material to make recycled products including cups, bookmarks, slippers, a phone stand and even casing for a set of portable speakers.

The equipment allows students to “injection mould the shredded bottle tops to create new products” or into “filament” so that they can 3D print their technological designs.

The school has installed a designated collection bin outside their reception where members of the public can donate the bottle tops for the department to use for their creations.

Posting on their Facebook page, the school explained the rationale behind the scheme: “We are doing this as we are very concerned about the plastics we use as a department, however we do have to still teach students about them and we would like to raise awareness with key issues concerning sustainability by recycling.”


Pictured: The school is collecting as many plastic bottle tops as they can (Les Quennevais School).

The secondary school has also teamed up with the recycling centre at La Collette who are also collecting bottle tops for the project.

The post calls for other islanders to join in their sustainable educational mission: “So please, please, please before you throw your bottle tops in the bin think of us, collect them and drop them in the [collection] bin whenever you’re passing by. As a community we can give a new lease of life to these bottle tops.”

The scheme has been praised on social media by environmentally-friendly campaign '10 on the 10th' – started by young activist Bea Thorogood – calling the scheme “fantastic work by the Design Tech Team at Les Quennevais School!”


Pictured: The DT teacher's invention allows the students to make sheets of plastic to make products out of or use it for 3D-printing. (Les Quennevais School)

This comes as the environmental impact of single-use plastics becomes a more prevalent issue among policy-makers and consumers.

Successful proposals to declare a 'climate emergency', which were put forward by Deputy Rob Ward, have resulted in the island becoming committed to carbon neutrality by 2030.

Jersey eco-warrior Sheena Brockie urged islanders to live plastic-free throughout July and supermarkets like the Co-Op are trialling unpackaged produce. Low-waste, organic shopping options like MiniMall in town or SCOOP at Farm Fresh Organics in St. Lawrence have also opened for the more environmentally-conscious shopper.

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Posted by Lesley Ricketts on
What a brilliant idea. Well done Daniel Ferguson and Les Quennevais School!
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