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Students experience the challenges facing local plastics firm

Published Wednesday, 06 March 2019

Pupils from Huxlow Science College (HSC) have seen first-hand how a local firm adapts to a world changing its attitude to how we use plastic products.

The visit followed an Enterprise Day in November 2018 where Enterprising East Northants was quick to make connections between local secondary schools and RPC Containers, a multinational supplier of plastic packaging based in Rushden.

HSC came to the meeting armed with many questions, ranging from; how are plastic packages designed and made? Can they all be recycled? What are the challenges for the future of plastics?  

RPC were ready to answer any questions the pupils had and also treated them to a tour of the site, viewing manufacturing processes, meeting the design team and learning first-hand about what goes into making plastic packaging.

RPC presented their own onsite ‘Zero Pellet Loss’ campaign to prevent plastic materials getting into the local eco-system, and the possibilities to recycle plastics in the future.

Laura Gauvrit, Assistant Headteacher at HSC said:

“College Council students were amazed to learn about the process from conception to final production of the vast array of products that RPC are involved with.  This will benefit them in their studies in Design Technology, Geography and Science in particular.  They are acutely aware of the need for sustainability and encouraged by the huge efforts RPC are going to reduce the plastic footprint.”

James Tennant, Business Account Manager for Enterprising East Northants added:

“I’ve been working with RPC to support their community involvement. This meeting, along with recent invitations to St Marys’ Primary School and Rushden Academy, offer students unprecedented access to the site and experience the reality of designing, testing and producing plastics.”

Commenting on the importance of these opportunities for young people, Paul Thompson, Employer and Skills Manager for SEMLEP said:

“This a great example of building a talent pipeline through employer-education engagement to inspire, promote appropriate pathways, develop skills and competencies in young people. We know businesses have increased awareness of the value in getting involved with schools, RPC Containers have demonstrated that the opportunity exists to influence young people and schools, making a difference.”