How to become a plastic free school

What's a Plastic Free Ambassador?

The objective of โ€œBlast the Plastโ€ is to equip young students (future Plastic Free Ambassadors) with the tools to create positive, lasting environmental change. It is an investigative, action-packed vision for stopping plastic pollution at source and generating ideas for a plastic free school.

Every mobility (that is when we all get together from Germany, Iceland and Sweden), we, the ambassadors are rewarded with an additional part of our Ambassador Kit. We then can use these (self-made) items every day back home at our schools and in our daily routines. Thus we can inspire others on how to manage to make school life and life in general a bit more plastic free.

We always have to remember that we only have one planet ๐ŸŒŽ there is no planet B โ€“ so it is up to each and every single one of us to take responsibility and more importantly take action.

You too can become a Plastic Free Ambassador, or maybe you even are one already? Check out what we did to make our school and our lives plastic free and join the project. If we can do it so can you!! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

10 easy steps to become a plastic free school

Step 1ย  *Yes you can!!
Be the Change you want to see in the world

As we found out throughout our projects schools can produce a lot of plastic waste. Everyone – especially you can help to change that in your own school environment and start small to make a huge difference on the long run. It all starts with YOU!

As great as it would be – it will almost not be possible for schools to be totally plastic free. Nevertheless even small changes in our daily habits matter and can help. There are things that we use daily at school that have a huge impact on our environment. Believe us it is possible and it even can be fun to find ecofriendly solutions for plastic items or even make them yourself from sustainable matierals (check out our DIY section)


Take all the time you need and think it through

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Step 2 *Every school is different
Do what works for yours

Firstly you will have to investigate and become a plastic detective ๐Ÿ•ต๐Ÿป

It is even more fun to do it as a group. Check out if there is already an environmental club or something similar. Maybe there are some like-minded fellow students that are happy to join you on your quest.

Start by finding out what (single-use) plastic items are frequently used and think of some alternatives. You can check out our Blog or DIY Hacks for some inspiration and ideas.

And most importantly: HAVE FUN!! ๐Ÿฅณ


Take all the time you need

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Step 3 *Swap it

During the project we realized that many changes could be done through little and easy swaps. At school we started with our pencil case and our plastic highlighters that we swapped against wooden ones that worked just as good and were by far more Eco-friendly.

Do you have an idea what you could swap at your school?

You can also check out our game and see if you can find the fitting swaps for some of the items – have fun ๐ŸŽฎ ๐Ÿฅณ

We even made a song ๐ŸŽถ about it – check it out ๐ŸŽง

To quote our Plastic Free Ambassador:

You do not need to change these things too drastically:

๐ŸŒŸ go slow

๐ŸŒŸ go easy

๐ŸŒŸ go plastic free

so that the earth is finally what it needs to be! ๐ŸŒ


You can make a little change every day ๐Ÿ™‚

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Step 4 *Pack it

So many things to think of when coming to school ๐Ÿ˜† We thought of some things that would make our and maybe also your lunch habits a bit more plastic free ๐Ÿ˜‰:

๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป Bring your own reusable lunch box/container and get rid of single use plastic wrapping.

๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป There a great glass or stainless steal options.

๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป You could also use bees wrap or up cycle your own lunch bag from an old kite (or any other suitable material).

Sounds funny? Well guess what, we did it โœ‚๏ธ ๐Ÿงต ๐Ÿค“

If you don’t believe us check out our blogpost on how we did it ๐Ÿ˜‰

And believe us, if we can do it so do you!




Step 5 * Change it

Not only your lunch options can be more sustainable. How about bringing your own reusable water bottle and fill it up at school? ๐Ÿ˜‰ โœŒ๐Ÿป

Most schools have a tab water station that you can use to get a refill.

But there are many more daily items that you can swap into a plastic free alternative:

  • Straws
  • Cutlery
  • Coffee or Tea cup
We started some investigations at our own schools and became real life plastic detectives ๐Ÿ•ต๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ ๐Ÿ•ต๐Ÿผโ€โ™‚๏ธ
Most importantly thought: Don’t forget to tell all your teachers and your principal about itย  ๐Ÿšจ – they also can easily participate as our research has shown ๐Ÿ˜‰
(Check out our case study)


As long as it takes ๐Ÿ˜‰

5 - 45 โ‚ฌ

Step 6 *Carry things in Style

We all know that we have lots of stuff to bring to school … and often we use a plastic bag for it.

These bags then end up as waste in landfills and in the worst case in the ocean ๐ŸŒŠ

We all have learned the dramatic effects that this can have on birds that often mistake shredded plastic bags for food, for sea turtles continuing the food chain on even us, that consume micro plastics.ย 

In order to find a better and more sustainable solution we opted for a more ecological solution with our own project’s tote bags.

As part of our Ambassador Kit we can now bring all our stuff in this reusable and stylish bag following the motto of the 3 Rs “Reduce – Reuse – Recycle” ๐Ÿ˜Š

And if we can do it – so can you! ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป Therefore you don’t have to buy a new one – just check at home before you go shopping the next time – there is probably already a bag there waiting for you to be used!


5-35 min.

0 - 10 โ‚ฌ

Step 7 * check your daily habits

If you are trying to avoid plastic at school it does not just start the moment you enter the hallway but already every morning when you wake up.

What will you pack your lunch in? Did you think of your water bottle and kind of interestingly: What will you wear to school.

During the project we examined our daily habits and made plastic diary journals that were quite revealing. There seems to be plastic everywhere: our daily cosmetics and baths essentials, our electronic devices and even in our clothing.

In order to be able to grasp the whole picture you have to honestly check your daily routines and learn more about things like fast fashion you maybe never thought were related to the issue. We produced some very interesting podcasts ๐Ÿ‘— ๐Ÿ‘– ๐ŸŽง


Everyday ๐Ÿ˜‰

Depending on the specific area

Step 8 * Educate Yourself – demystify the Plast

As we have figured out by now, plastics are unfortunately often a bigย  part of our everyday lives. We often hear and read that many of the products we use are made out of or contain plastics. But was exactly is plastic and more importantly what happens to it after disposal ?! ๐Ÿšฎย 
How long does it take to break down and how does plasticย  affect the environment? We looked for answers for all these questions in order to be able to become experts in the topic. Only then can we participate in debates on the topic and hold our own “TED Talk” at school based on our research and scientific facts.

We had a lot of fun during our lab sessions identifying plastics and looking for microplastics. We also did excursions and talked to experts about it for example Saevar Helgi Bragason during our mobility to Iceland. The biggest project was our long term science project.ย 

We encourage you also to educate yourself about the history of plastics, the toll it has on the environment and what you can do to help. Also take a closer look at your daily life and the impact micro plastic has on it and what you can do about that.ย  Believe us – science IS fun!!! ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ”ฌ๐Ÿงช๐Ÿฅผ๐Ÿ”ฌ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿผโ€๐Ÿ”ฌ


Throughout your time at school - and even after that ๐Ÿ™‚

Free of charge

Step 9 * Learn from others – everyone needs a little Help from fellow minded friends from time to time

We all were quite new to the field of plastic and its reduction. But there are people out there who over many years of hard work and research have developed expertise in this area. We were lucky enough to be able to collaborate with and learn from some of them in many different fields during the project. A special thank you to all our teachers that helped and supported us during the entire project. But we were lucky to also have had help from many others ๐Ÿ˜Š

On the one hand we learned a lot about the scientific and environmental aspects of the topic.

On the other hand we also learned valuable lessons on how to get our message heard and out into the world through many different channels of dissemination for example #blasttheplast.

In the video and audio department we were lucky to be able to work with awesome experts from the LKJ BadenWรผrttemberg that made some of the podcasts and youtube videos as brilliant as they are.

A very special thank you goes out the the HDM Stuttgart for cooperating with us!! Professor Dr. Thissen and his second year students from the department of information design worked with us on the content and design of our webpage and our social media appearance.

We were able to participate in contests to spread our message for a good cause and learn first hand on site from best practice examples in our respective countries and cities.

We thank all of them very much for taking the time to help us and our project even during such daring times of an ongoing pandemic ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

And now it is up to you ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿปย  Who do you want to learn and get inspired from? ๐Ÿค“


As much time as you want to invest

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Step 10 * Spread the word and take action

Reading and talking about the subject is one thing. Getting others to help and spreading the word is another.

As Plastic Free Ambassadors we want to lead as example and motivate you to participate in the journey and take action in the matter.

No one can do everything, but everyone can do something! (Max Lucado)

We learned more about waste disposal in other European countries, got our municipalities involved, cleaned beaches, checked our daily routines, sold DIYs for a good cause and are in constant exchange with our principals and teachers to keep the spirit alive. With the help of our local newspapers our message and mission was heard and even after the project has officially finished the spirit of it is still alive at our school.

We hope that we could not only inspire our classmates to take action but also YOU!!

So what are you waiting for – Everyone can be a PLASTIC FREE AMBASSADOR!!!


Never give up and keep up the good work

Priceless - we do not have a planet B!