It’s Waste Reduction Week in Canada – an initiative that is intended to encourage recycling education, collection, and transitioning towards a circular economy.
Two local high school students, Margo and Nicholas, were recently selected as semi-finalists (12-15) at the Youth Innovation Showcase, a virtual STEM competition put on by the Science Fair Foundation BC, for their inventive approaches to waste reduction.
In a world fraught with escalating global warming and unforeseen temperature spikes, creative solutions and fostering young minds is paramount. Both Margo and Nicholas came up with circular waste systems to attack this issue.
With discarded paper making up 26% of municipal waste annually and the third-largest emissions in Canada, Nicholas came up with BB Paper which tackles another looming threat – Himalayan blackberries – and turns them into paper. BB paper would reduce invasive blackberry species and make something useful out of it while decreasing the need for paper mills.
Margo aimed to devise a solution for the alarming annual average of 40% of food wasted a year. Greybox Paper would break down paper and food waste into a pulp, creating ten sheets of paper to every one pound of waste. By implementing this approach, it would minimize deforestation and alleviate the growing issue of landfill waste.
The Showcase evaluates creativity, communication, engagement, and difficulty through three rounds of judging. The winner will receive $5,000 to further develop their project. The showcase finalists will be announced on November 6th and the award winners will be announced on November 29th.