As we refine the Design Club’s findings into an Open Source Report, WASTED prepares the School Package to engage and inform local youth change-makers on plastic qualities, problems and possibilities. More and the lesson approach here.

2015 marked the start of CITIES’ WASTED project, diving into community-activated plastic waste upcycling. Beginning with an intensive week-long Design Club in January, we worked with material designers and local partners to nail down the design of the WASTED Block, and blueprint for a full-on neighborhood WASTED Laboratory.

Download the Open Source Report here! We want your constructive feedback! Send comments to barbara(at)citiesthemagazine(dot)com.

As design refinement continues and building starts, we’re getting started with WASTED phase two: the School Package.

Targeting schools and youth, the School Package is also available to anyone interested in becoming a plastic expert – elevating your knowledge of a material filling your daily life, and learning first-hand and hands-on how to reprocess it into new, useful material in Reprocessing Workshops. Find more details below, and if you, your family, organization, company, team or anyone is interested in the Package, please write to barbara(at)citiesthemagazine(dot)com.


Youth are at the root of evolutionary social change. In addressing awareness, beliefs and practices around plastic waste on the neighborhood and household level, youth in turn are a critical group to inform about the dangers and possibilities of plastic waste disposal. On this note, we’ve developed a School Package designed to not only be fruitful and fun, but also achieve the ultimate goal of helping instill long-term change in youth’s behavior and that of their families.

Collaborating with local schools to organize School Package lesson sessions, we also challenge them to be more thoughtful in their waste management solutions – perhaps becoming a WASTED Friend and contributing their waste to the Laboratory. In addition, we believe schools’ central role in information dissemination helps us reach a greater Amsterdam public. In this way, schools further support our aim of spreading awareness and instigating actions based on heightened plastic consciousness. In all these ways, youth and schools help share our belief that through individual and collective action, we absolutely can make a difference in our local communities.


Through two interactive lessons and a workshop, students are asked to examine their relationship with plastic, shedding light on both the potential problems and innovative solutions regarding plastic and the environment – we make them ‘plastic experts,’ empowered to be active participants in turning trash into community treasure.


First off, we shake up and distress the students (just a bit) in order to create awareness of their relationship with the issues and imminent problems surrounding plastic.

In Part 1, we roll out a four-part interactive plastic history lecture focusing on:

1. How the world is affected by plastic
2. How plastic was intended to save the world
3. How plastic still could (if we approach it correctly)
4. WASTED project teaser

With permission, students will be asked to separate and bring in their own plastic the following week.


The Plastic Archaeology lesson teaches students to recognize different types of plastic through several experiments. During this lesson students become real plastic experts. Additionally, students are introduced to various local examples of reusing and upcycling plastic, including a more detailed and well-rounded picture of what is happening at the WASTED Laboratory. Also during this stage, a system is installed in schools helping them save as much plastic as possible, both from school and home, which they will personally upcycle into WASTED Blocks during Part 3’s workshops.


Students join us at the WASTED Laboratory in the final portion of the School Package.
Here, students will check out the facilities and meet the team. Moreover, they will close the local loop of plastic upcycling by creating their own WASTED Blocks. Their Blocks will then return to the schools, where they can be built into a structure of their choice.

image block and connectorsplanter wasted

* Our School Package has been developed based on proven methods from Kemptonand Holland’s 2014 study of secondary school students and environmental issues “Uncovering Students’ Environmental Identity”.


Are you local in Amsterdam Noord? Do you want to get WASTED with us? Are you interested in being a WASTED Friend? Send an email to barbara(at)citiesthemagazine(dot)com and we’ll be happy tell you more, and/or keep you updated with exclusive WASTED news!

Stay tuned on Twitter and Facebook for updates on WASTED’s progression – much more to come!

Text: Mehdi Comeau

Created on 05 March 2015

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