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School fees too expensive? Pay in plastic! The Indian school where students pay with plastic waste

By ITS Education Asia

Individual recycling plastic bottles Free Photo

The Guardian had a great story about a school in India which accepts plastic as a form of payment to reduce toxic waste and encourage children to stay in school.

“When we asked the parents to send their household plastic with their children on the school bus, almost none of them complied. They preferred to burn their plastic at home. So my wife told them we would start charging fees. Fees which they could pay in cash, or in plastic waste from their homes,” says the founder.

The plastic is then turned into Eco-bricks for construction. The school has also devised an unconventional way to reduce child labour. “As we could never afford to recompense the kids like the quarries, we devised a mentorship peer-to-peer learning model, whereby older kids would tutor the younger ones, and in return get paid in toy currency notes that can be used to buy snacks, clothes, toys and shoes at local shops. As the students’ progress academically, their salary increases.

Brilliant multi-level problem solving.



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