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Schools take part in plastic-free business programme

15 feb22 2328 ja mindreset
Winners of the mindREset programme at the awards ceremony

Over 3,600 primary and secondary school students competed for the best green-business ideas that would help reduce plastic use and promote environmental sustainability as part of the mindREset programme.

Students were asked to identify the consequences of the use of plastic in our lives and to propose practical and sustainable solutions that will contribute to the protection and preservation of the environment.

At the same time, they have had the opportunity to be introduced to the field of entrepreneurship and to promote their own products and services.

“Europe needs more people who can rise to the challenges – people with the right knowledge, skills and attitudes, able to turn their ideas into actions to improve communities and societies,” said a press release by the Junior Achievement Cyprus NGO which co-organised the programme.

MindREset is also an initiative by Lidl Cyprus and the education ministry.

The programme is interactive and offers a series of five courses to students of fifth and sixth grade of primary school as well as students attending first and second grade of secondary school. The modules of the programme aim to introduce students to the field of environmental entrepreneurship and help them develop skills that will contribute to the protection and preservation of the environment.

The project involved 87 schools from all over Cyprus, including 63 primary and 24 secondary schools from 190 different classes (145 in primary and 45 in secondary schools). The total number of students taking part was 3,612 which included 2,719 primary students and 893 secondary school students with the support of more than 200 teachers.

Of the 74 teams formed, the ten best teams were awarded during the final award ceremony last Tuesday, which took place at the state primary teacher’s union (Poed) hall in the presence of Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou.

For the final selection of the teams, the judges evaluated the quality of the presentation of their business idea, the quality of the exhibits and the booth and the quality of the presentation on stage and the answers given.

The two teams who were awarded Mind Resetters of the Year 2022 and won an educational business experience in Greece, are from the Ayios Athanasios B Primary School the “EAT THE BOX” team and from the Engomi High School the “ECO CLIP” team.

The company EAT THE BOX, produces edible dough boxes, the zy-mart boxes. These replace disposable plastic food containers, helping to reduce plastic. After consuming their contents, we can eat the boxes themselves, or leave them as “trash” for the Earth to “eat” without risk.

The product “Ecoclip” is a handmade airtight bag closing clip, 100 per cent ecological. It is made of wood and is mainly used to seal opened food bags, keeping the contents fresh for longer. It stands out from other commercially available clips as it is handmade, with an original yet clever design.

The two second places were won by the “PwP” teams from Astromeritis Primary School, where their idea was to create biodegradable pots for small plants. Their materials were simple: planting soil, seeds, newspaper, toilet paper rolls, paints and rope. “HEY HAY” from Olympion High School proposed an alternative solution involving the creation of “eco-friendly” plastic.

The two third places were awarded to the “WorldREstart” team from the Limassol Primary School IX where the company will give incentives to families to collect plastic waste from the environment (parks, beaches, fields, etc.). The incentives are discounts from shops and gifts from companies. For the high school, the third place was won by the “Spare Pen” team of the Nicosia-Malounta Regional Secondary School, where they propose a new wooden eco-friendly pen for use by all ages to reduce plastic and save money.

The second and third place winners won prizes offered by strategic partner Lidl Cyprus.

The members of the jury were chairman of the board of Junior Achievement of Cyprus Andreas Papadopoulos, Environment Commissioner Klelia Vassiliou, general manager of Lidl Cyprus Spyros Kondylis, director of trade and industry at the energy ministry, Christos Fotiadis, director of secondary education of the education ministry Kyprianos Louis and inspector of primary education Androula Siimitra.

 

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