Manufacturing waste Re-pur-posed by students

By Anita Jaynes on 19 April, 2016

What do a pineapple, a model parrot and a miniature guitar all have in common? Those visiting Swindon’s Brunel Shopping Centre this week will see that these items, and many others, have all been made entirely from waste packaging materials.

The pieces are part of a display of artwork that has been created by students from Swindon College’s School of Art & Design.  The idea for the project, named Re-pur-pose, came from Cricklade-based GWP Packaging who are working with Swindon College to give the students experience of working with industry.

Ruth Cook, MD of GWP Packaging said: “We wanted to challenge the students and help them to explore how waste materials could be repurposed.  Recycling is the norm for those of the student’s generation who have grown up with it.  We wanted to encourage the students to go a step further and to think about reuse and repurposing too.   You would never know that some of the items on display have been made from waste packaging materials.

“We use foam inserts in our bespoke packaging cases and I was delighted to see that one clever student has used the material to make an extremely good toadstool!”

Jill Marshall-Simms is Curriculum Area Manager for Art and Design at Swindon College said how important it is for students to work with businesses like GWP Packaging:  “Our partnership with companies such as GWP Group is very valuable to us as it enables our students to engage with businesses and to gain an understanding of real business situations and helps to prepare them for the world of work”.

The artwork is on display until Sunday 24 April in The Brunel Plaza, first floor, on the walkway between Boots and Marks & Spencer.

This is the third project that GWP has undertaken with Swindon College and follows on from two very successful projects.  The first saw engineering students work with GWP’s packaging design team to create a durable food collection box for Swindon Foodbank and last year students helped GWP commemorate 25 years in business by creating stunning works of art made entirely from cardboard.