Primary Earth Summit on Plastics Waste hosted at Westminster

On Monday 16 June, the Primary Earth Summit, an annual event dedicated to addressing environmental issues, was jointly organised by Wastebuster and PlasticsEurope, sponsored by Bayer MaterialScience. Hosted by Zac Goldsmith MP, the Summit gathered children, government leaders, and industry experts in the House of Commons in Westminster to promote responsible plastic waste management.
Children from Hampton Hill Juniors School
with Captain Busta from Starfleet ECO, Wastebuster's promotional character

CEO Alex Moscho, Richard Northcote, Head of Corporate Communications, Bayer Material Science and Captain Busta

Over 60 school children from across the UK took a stand at Parliament and presented their ideas on tackling plastic waste. The children identified inspiring solutions that can be delivered together with the support of industry, waste management, NGOs and engaged communities.     
Beginning in May, primary and secondary schools across England were encouraged to explore and design practical solutions for plastic waste minimisation across four categories: 
  • Education and Awareness; 
  • Collection System Improvement; 
  • Marine Environment; 
  • Product Design & Innovation.   
Submissions from over 18,000 schools were received. A shortlist of schools with the 20 most compelling solutions were brought to Parliament where students presented their ideas to a panel of judges made up of senior politicians, scientists, NGOs and industry leaders. Four project solutions won. They will be developed and refined with the aid of Summit partners and supporters, and promoted in the UK through the Earth Summit partner school network, which comprises more than half the schools in England.   

"As an industry, we have to be seen as leading the way for future generations in finding solutions to the world’s problems around plastic pollution.  Supporting Wastebuster in today’s Primary Earth Summit in Parliament is an excellent way of keeping the dialogue alive with children from around the UK”, said Richard Northcote, Global Chief Sustainability Officer at Bayer MaterialScience.   
Richard Northcote, Head of Corporate Communications, Bayer Material Science
and CEO Alex Moscho

Children with Baby Busta and Richard Northcote, Head of Corporate Communications, Bayer Material Science

"The responsible management of plastics waste is an essential component for any viable plastics business strategy,” added Hanane Taidi, Communications Director at PlasticsEurope.     
The summit ended with all children being presented a toy mascot called Baby Busta. This is a version of the Wastebuster mascot Captain Busta, a blue space monkey from the Intergalactic Wastebuster Federation (IWF). Baby Busta is an exclusive toy, made of recycled plastic bottles. The children received this as a reminder that they need to behave responsibly with waste and that plastics are a valuable resource throughout their lifecycle.   

The Primary Earth Summit was a satellite event of the European Commission’s annual European Green Week, which took place from 3-5 June and focused waste management practices and more efficient utilization of EU resources. A key goal is to identify and implement sustainable, closed loop solutions that support circular economy development in which nearly all waste materials are reused, recycled or recovered. The ultimate aim of the Primary Earth Summit is to promote the idea of plastic waste as a precious resource that must be managed responsibly, and to encourage youth leadership of community-led waste reduction efforts.   

Photos: Anthony Upton © Copyright 2014
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