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  • Writer's pictureSarah Anelay - Clear Public Space

A Future Without Rubbish CIC- Now Live!

Updated: Mar 23, 2021

Clear Public Space created the A Future without Rubbish project (AFWR) in 2016, and has seen great success in its project ever since.

Since its inception, the main drive of the project has been to makes pupils “agents” of change in their communities as leaders in the global fight against waste. We aim to inspire the next generation to find innovative ways of looking after our planet by providing education into the circular economy, sustainable consumption and production, and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

First of all, as 'Associata Un Viitor fara Gunoi', A Future Without Rubbish supported the waste management plan of UNESCO-listed village of Valea Viilor. Encouraging and enabling the community to collect separate, good, uncontaminated recyclable material, working closely with the inspirational mayor Primar Pinte, and his community.

Then we celebrated 100 years of Romania by recycling paper for 100 days, with 3 schools and Sibiu County Council. We collected approximately 4 tonnes of paper and cardboard, saving approximately 75 trees.

Throughout 2019, A Future Without Rubbish with funding from councils (#MyWestminster fund and Queens Park Community Council) the project educated up to 700 people in Westminster about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and waste reduction. It resulted in improved recycling rates for Westminster Council and reduced littering in public spaces.

In Queens Park, Westminster, A Future Without Rubbish had 100 pupils taking part, through its school assemblies that focused on waste reduction and environmental protection, and its whole-class activities and competitions.

In 2020, Clear Public Space began to revitalise and restructure the AFWR project.

The pandemic gave us the space to reflect and we felt that as a project inside of Clear Public Space we could only take it so far. That's why we decided to establish A Future Without Rubbish as a Community Interest Company (CIC), a special form of non-charitable, not-for-profit limited company with the purview of community benefit.

By establishing A Future Without Rubbish as a CIC we have more freedom and flexibility to expand the programme and involve more communities and create partnerships in our work to save our beautiful planet.

Our mission remains the same, but our remit just got a lot larger!

We are keeping admin costs to a minimum by dissolving the Associata Un Viitor Fara Gunoi and Association A Future without Rubbish entities. Any funds that exist upon their closure will either be returned to the original donor or, with their permission, transferred to the new A Future without Rubbish CIC.

We are pleased to say that our previous advisors, Jo Ruxton (Founder of Ocean Generation and the trigger for David Attenborough's plastic activism), Henry Wilks (producer and director) and Alex Hickman (business advisor to No.10) are continuing with their brilliant advice as NEDs for A Future Without Rubbish CIC. We are also now joined by Iona Hamilton (reputational investigator), Paddy Horgan OBE Director of Global Government Relations for Rolls-Royce, Gareth Waterworth (financial services specialist) and Anna Campbell (senior digital media researcher).

Our first activities as A Future Without Rubbish CIC have been a storming success.

We are currently creating agents for change in schools in Yarnton, Oxfordshire and Palava, India. So far we have given the pupils various missions that all interrogated the subject of waste, its disposal the environment and the circular economy.

The missions included:

  • interrogating how much waste the school produces;

  • investigating their own plastic usage in day-to-day life, and;

  • creating their own laws to save the environment.

We also talked with the children about the waste hierarchy- the importance of reduction and reuse, as well as recycling, the impact of plastic on the environment and its alternatives, and the interlinked-ness of nature.

We are so grateful to the Lennox Hannay Charitable Trust for providing us with a generous grant to fully implement our One Bag Zero Waste (1BzW) campaign in the schools we work with.

The concepts of the circular economy and the SDGs can seem overly theoretical and complex, that's why we created 1BzW. 1BzW has pupils engage practically in the circular economy and implement the principles contained in the SDGs. It sees pupils design for the circular economy and creates a bag from recycled waste that can be used in their community again and again.

We believe that encouraging cross-cultural learning and partnerships amongst children is intrinsic to solving the great environmental challenges we face in the 21st century. That's why A Future Without Rubbish CIC is creating an international network of all the pupils becoming agents for change. We are achieving this through video calls between schools, photo and video sending activities and competitions. In March 2021, we started the pursuit of SDG 17 - "partnerships for the goals" by holding a live partnership between schools in India and the UK to exchange knowledge and actions about sustainability and local environments. it was magnificent and you can watch a synopsis here.

We are even going to host a model Cop-26 later in the year, with schools from many countries.


Professor Helmut Maurer, EU Commission: "The young are the game-changers (towards waste prevention and more recycling) and we must change our game about plastic and public rubbish. That is what is so compelling about the project' A Future without Rubbish. The program should be adopted in all EU member states and across the world."

Rt Hon Michael Gove MP: "Any school that works with Clear Public Space is doing something important and heroic. And that is contributing to making sure its carbon footprint is lessened, contributing to making sure that children understand the impact that their choices have on this planet".

Rt Hon Rebecca Pow MP, Environment Minister: "A Future without Rubbish’s work to tackle environmental issues is admirable [...] By producing a reusable bag, the campaign (1BzW) is raising the awareness of young people to a circular approach to the use of materials. This should become the norm, rather than the exception”

•Anne Marie Martin, Director of Global Business Networks: “The A Future without Rubbish" project’s integration of SCBC (School, Council, Business, Community) is a unique approach to having a future without rubbish, tackling the issue at the grassroots level and we wish the project every success at local, national and international level! We look forward to supporting this important work across Europe."

•Claire Macfie, Wilberforce Primary School Headteacher: “A Future without Rubbish seeks to change the way in which we all deal with rubbish. Through this project, we will really open our pupils’ eyes to the reality of what is happening in our oceans and make them change their behaviour around rubbish. This is a problem that we have to face up to today–not in ten years’ time–which is why it is vital we start educating the next generation about caring for the environment.”

•Patricia McAllister, Queen's Park Ward Councillor: "It is absolutely vital that other schools get involved. We would love to see it rolled out across Westminster. It is incredibly important for the future of these children. I think that's what it is all about".

•Fiona Mawson and Ian Middleton, Yarnton Parish Councillors: "It was very uplifting to hear the pupils discuss a variety of subjects, from the circular economy to symbiotic relationships such as fish that clean sharks' teeth! These children seemed better informed and more knowledgeable than many adults we meet."

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