Green future of furniture made from crisp packets

28th February 2003 at 00:00
WASHING-UP liquid bottle-tops and empty crisp packets might seem more useful for a Blue Peter project than for building classroom furniture.

But these household objects will be the main ingredients for desks and work surfaces at a pair of futuristic school buildings in Telford.

Wrockwardine Wood junior and Lord Silkin secondary are among 32 schools developing tomorrow's classrooms with funding from the Department for Education and Skills' "Classroom of the Future" project.

Twelve education authorities are sharing pound;10 million to construct imaginative schoolrooms, which must be complete by April. Like many schemes, the design for Wrockwardine's classroom began in brainstorming sessions between architects and pupils.

The design team rejected some of the children's ideas for a futuristic classroom - including sci-fi-style flashing lights and a space-ship shape.

However, many of their suggestions were used, such as their request for chairs that could be adjusted to suit different heights.

The pupils also wanted a classroom that was environmentally-friendly. So when the building is completed later this term it will be equipped with wind turbines and solar power, as well as a roof covered with sedum, a succulent plant.

The storage cupboards will be made from recycled crisp packets, while the desk-tops and work surfaces will be melted-together washing-up liquid bottle-tops.

Richard Woolland of the Counties Furniture Group said that the prototype desks had unexpected benefits. "The children like them because they are colourful and environmentally-friendly," he said. "But we've also found that the surfaces are so busy with colour that you cannot write legible graffiti on them - and chewing gum will not stick to the plastic."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers

Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today