Blog post

Plastic Fantastic: doing our bit for the future

Business Management students Rachel Walker and Aimee Walsh are passionate about making a difference. They are part of the Plastic Fantastic project that aims to tackle plastic pollution.

By Rachel and Amy - 18 April 2019

Starting the conversation

Let’s talk about throw-away plastics. We’re not here to be too preachy about it all. We just want to get the conversation going …

If we said to you there were three easy steps to completely solve our current environmental crisis, would we have your attention? Well, unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as that.

We know you’re all really busy. We’re busy too. Food packaging isn’t the top of our priorities but it’s worth bringing up, don’t you think? In fact, it’s worth more than that. We’ve reached a state of emergency so we need to act fast.

Plastic Fantastic

There are currently 98,000 household recycling bins within the city of Derby – and the population is around 258,000. If we estimate that there are about 2.5 people per household, this means there are 13,000 people without direct access to a recycling bin. Personally, we find this quite shocking so we asked ourselves: what is the solution? How can we utilise or improve our plastic recycling schemes to benefit the environment?

As final year Business Management students – and as the future – we need to take the welfare of our planet seriously. We need to play our part. And we’ve made a start. We have been working alongside Engineering students here at the University of Derby to launch a start-up organisation called Plastic Fantastic to help move this notion along. We hope we can reach out to the local community – and continue to work with them after we’ve graduated in July (fingers crossed).

How to make a difference

We know we can’t possibly have a simple solution to this. However, we have a few recommendations to make a small difference:

Reusable bottles

Replace your throw-away plastic bottles with a reusable bottle. Recycling plants require a lot more energy than you think so reusing and biodegradable options are far better.

Change how you buy

Reduce your purchases of useless plastics that cannot be recycled. Perhaps weigh up whether you really need to buy it or if it’s just something you desire. Maybe you can get a recyclable alternative or something that is biodegradable. Eco-friendly coffee cups are a perfect example!


If that piece of plastic packaging has the recycling symbol on it, make sure you put it in your recycling bin – or go to your nearest recycling point if you haven’t been assigned one.

Go metal

Use a reusable metal straw rather than a plastic straw. Plastic straws take forever (or should we say around 500 years) to decompose! Some large organisations like McDonald’s still use plastic straws so maybe we need to have the slight “inconvenience” of carrying around one or two metal straws that we can wash at the end of each day.

We are responsible

As the next generation, it is our responsibility to encourage and inspire people like us into benefiting our environment. We need to preserve its natural beauty against the tide of human influence.

We humans tend to have a very ignorant mentality when it comes to our impact on the environment and just how much damage we have caused as individuals over the years. Ignorance is NOT bliss and we cannot be in denial over this anymore.

At Plastic Fantastic, our aim is to create valuable secondary products from recyclable plastics we have collected from the local community. The collaboration of both the Business Management and Engineering students at the university will give Plastic Fantastic both a business mindset as well as a more skilled know-how on the use of raw materials. We hope to get funding so we can use modern machinery to pursue the project. This will all be done while continuing to work closely with our local community and schools and colleges. We aim to initiate change through plastic donation and, also, teach our younger generations about what the reality entails.

We are the future, let’s do our bit.

About the author

Rachel and Amy
Final year Business Management students at the University of Derby

We are final year Business Management students at the University of Derby. We are both so passionate about making a difference, so much so, we hope this comes across in our blog post that coincides with our dissertation subject.