©Getty Images

Practical circular economy work for schools

Posted on 15 January 2018.

In October 2017 – for the second consecutive year - Veolia and Belin Education collected obsolete textbooks for recycling.

Recycling obsolete textbooks - the challenge for Veolia and Belin Education

The school reform program led to a complete change in the curriculums. For 7th to 10th graders the textbooks in almost all subjects have been replaced - about half in the autumn of 2016 and half in the autumn of 2017. In total, millions of new books have been printed and the same number have been thrown out…

Belin Education - one of France’s leading textbook publishers - and Veolia joined forces to give schools the opportunity to recycle their obsolete books under the "Ecogeste Collèges" operation set up in 2016. 1,475,000 old books were collected in the nearly 600 establishments participating in the operation.

Encouraged by the first year’s success, Veolia and Belin Education repeated the operation at the start of the 2017/18 school year. During October and November, old textbooks and old exercise books, newspapers and magazines were collected in schools.
All this paper will be sorted and prepared by Veolia ready to be transformed into recycled raw materials for making more recycled paper. The profits from the operation will again be donated to UNICEF France to fund childhood related projects.

A triple impact

The initiative has a triple impact – on the environment, society and education. "Ecogeste Collèges" is an opportunity for students to be directly and concretely involved in the circular economy. The entire school ecosystem - students, teachers, parents, administrative staff, etc. – learns about the importance of recycling paper waste. And doing the right thing in schools encourages people to do the same at home on a daily basis.


In France, the circular economy is going back to school