Ellenor (Elle) McIntosh, Twipes in 100 Ways in 100 Days blog; fellow cohort with 100 Ways on Aster Foundation's Inc. incubator for social impact entrepreneurs

How 100 Ways in 100 Days is helping to solve real world environmental problems

Wondered how 100 Ways in 100 Days™ came about? Well, a couple of years back, our founder Sue was running her own multi-award winning PR and marketing agency. One day she noticed a Deliveroo driver, delivering a bubble tea, on his moped, from a café just three minutes walk away, to someone in the office above. It was swathed in serviettes and sat in not one, but two plastic bags – and was accompanied by a plastic knife and fork.
An hour later, she spotted it, totally undrunk, with all its packaging, in the LANDFILL bin, right next to plastic and paper recycling.
She was aghast at how people could live their lives so unsustainably and 100 Ways in 100 Days was born.
Hackathon happy

Roll forward to last April and the University of Surrey (with whom 100 Ways has been working), held its #Hackathon17. It sought to get students together to come up with the most innovative ideas to address five environmental ‘problem statements’. All had to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (the SDGs).
The University was so inspired by the case of the bubble tea – and shocked at the scale of waste in the beverage industry that it was inspired to use the story as the basis of one of its ‘problem statements’. The industry uses huge amounts of plastic and packaging, much of which goes to waste.
One Hackathon team came up with an ingenious idea of collecting and recycling all the excess plastic, turning it into highly insulating, cosy blankets, with many going towards homeless charities and the rest sold for a profit. The team won a £500 award to get started on their new business idea – and then scooped another award from the University’s Living Lab to take it still further. Research and development is now in full swing. Watch this space!
What a superb partnership! Huge hats off to the people involved, especially: chemical engineer Shanahan Cox; ZenChai Bubble Tea founder Monz Islam and the amazing Kat Mack, student enterprise manager at the university.