Students tackle plastic waste with innovative new solution


A duo from Edinburgh College and Queen Margaret University (QMU) are tackling the problem of plastic bottle waste which sees 15 million plastic bottles added to landfills every day.

Edinburgh College HND Beauty Therapy student Amee Ritchie and QMU student Jake Elliot Hook were winners in the October round of the Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) Fresh Ideas competition with their new design for a healthy reusable alternative.

The Fresh Ideas competition runs monthly from October to January. In 2016-17, nearly 400 entries were received from students in colleges and universities across Scotland.

Jake and Amee will now go on to the next stage of the competition and have a chance of winning the top prize of up to £1,000.

Amee said: “We are delighted to have won SIE’s Fresh Ideas competition. Our new product has been created with the aim of providing a positive impact to our health and the environment. I look forward to completing my studies here at Edinburgh College while developing our business and product.”

Talking about the win, Vivian Rutherford – from the Research and Knowledge Exchange Unit at QMU – said: “We are very excited to see the students progress in this national competition. We are committed to developing and supporting our students and creating a culture of innovation on campus with lots of opportunities for students to expand beyond their studies.”

CEO of SIE Fiona Godsman said: “It’s great to see students tackling big picture issues and shows that Scotland’s young people are full of innovative ideas and the drive to make a difference. This is an excellent idea that has potential to have a huge impact.”

The Fresh Ideas competition runs monthly from until January 2018. Students can enter online at: