Who spoke about plastic pollution?

10 October 2018

Last term, we launched the Great British Plastics Challenge campaign with the Environment Agency and Business in the Community, seeing leaders head back to school to encourage young people to take a stand against plastic pollution. The campaign has been so successful, we’ve signed up another 25 speakers to take part in the second wave of talks.

Here is a collection of highlights from the first wave of #PlasticsChallenge talks!:


Emma Howard Boyd, Chairwoman of the Environment Agency, Budehaven Community School, Cornwall

Emma Howard Boyd was one of the first speakers to kick off the campaign on World Ocean’s Day. Speaking in Bude, students heard about the importance of conservation, recycling and using plastic alternatives.





Hugo Tagholm, CEO of Surfers Against Sewage, Truro and Penwith College, Cornwall

CEO of Surfers Against Sewage and self-proclaimed surfing and beach enthusiast, Hugo Tagholm had some hard-hitting truths for his talk. Hugo will be speaking again next term along with 25+ new speakers who have joined the campaign. Thank you Hugo!




Mike Coupe, CEO of Sainsbury’s, Oasis Academy, Isle of Sheppey

The CEO of Sainsbury’s, Mike Coupe travelled to the Isle of Sheppey to speak to students about Sainsbury’s commitment to the UK plastics pact, their work with the Woodlands Trust and how students can take part in the #PlasticsChallenge.





Tanya Steele, CEO of WWF UK, Heartlands High School, London

‘Plastics is one of the most visible issues that we face today’

Tanya Steele told students in Haringey. Change, she continued needs to come from politicians, businesses and the individual.

Inspired by the talk, three students took up our #PlasticsChallenge. Here’s what they pledged:




Allison Ogden Newton, CEO of Keep Britain Tidy, Westhoughton High School, Bolton

The CEO of Keep Britain Tidy headed to Bolton for her #PlasticsChallenge talk.

Westhoughton High School tweeted:

We’re excited to be taking part in . Our students were amazed to learn that they have actually been chewing plastic for years – chewing gum! We are going to pledge to take action in the local community.

Allison also made her very own pledge to the challenge:


Mel Richards, Deputy Chair KPMG UK, Allerton Grange, Leeds

KPMG‘s, Mel Richards, took her campaign talk to Leeds, with an interactive workshop asking students to pitch how they’d persuade a business to give up one of the big four.

Read more from the event in Allerton Grange’s write up here





Amanda MacKenzie, CEO of Business in the Community, Walthamstow School for Girls   


Courtesy of Peter Kindersley


Secondary school students were encouraged to take up the challenge by Business in the Community boss, Amanda Mackenzie.

“One thing our school has started to do is use reusable bottles given free with a meal” – said one student (courtsey of East London & West Sussex Guardian).

Check out the full write up here, in East London & West Sussex Guardian



Richard Walker, MD Iceland, Ysgol John Bright, Gwynedd Wales

Iceland MD and eco-enthusiast, Richard Walker headed to Wales to for his #PlasticsChallenge talk. Ysgol John Bright were so inspired by Richard’s talk they are no looking to become a plastic-free community.



We’re excited to announce that another 25 CEOs and leaders have signed up as part of this campaign. Watch this space, as we’ll be returning for a second wave of talks.

You can also follow the #PlasticsChallenge and campaign on Twitter and Instagram!