Entrepreneurial eco-warriors turn rubbish into stylish kitchen accessories

By Monmouthshire Beacon/Chepstow Beacon in Environment

A GROUP of emerging entrepreneurs have come up with a practical, cutting-edge idea for recycling empty milk bottles.

The eight-strong team from Monmouth School will be turning donated plastic into unique chopping boards under their company name, Polymade.

They have established the eco-friendly firm to enter into a national Young Enterprise competition.

With all eight boys taking on different roles, the scheme gives them hands-on, real life experience of what it’s like to run a business.

Mahfuz Abdul-Hamid, 16, is Polymade’s Director of Marketing.

He said: “We wanted to set up a business that everyone could relate to. Everyone goes through milk, so people are bound to have empty bottles lying around. They either get recycled or put into black bin bags and we never see what happens to them afterwards.”

The boys are able to collect around 80 empty milk bottles a week from the school’s boarding houses to bring their idea to life in the DT department.

Hamad Aloufan, 17, is the company’s Sales Representative.

He said: “Plastic isn’t biodegradable and a lot of it goes to landfills, so we became creative with it.

“The chopping boards are all unique, no two are alike. The red and green tops give them a speckled finish which really makes them stand out.”

The team has access to an industrial shredder and sheet press in Monmouth School’s DT workshop, where they have perfected the design through trial and error.

Thanks to feedback from teachers and members of the public at a Christmas market, where the boys manned a stand to introduce people to the product, they feel they could be on to a winner.

Hamad added: “So far I’ve learned operating a business is not as easy as you think. Lots of work goes into it before you can start selling your product.

“Organisation and good teamwork are key – you have to be a team player to make it work."

The boys plan to ask local shops to stock their kitchen accessories, and hope to see them in Salt and Pepper’s window eventually.

Mahfuz added: “You have to rely on people to get stuff done when you’re running a business. You have to put lots of trust into each other. Every decision is important and you learn from every failure.”

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