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The Repurpose Project with Swindon College Art Students

Matt Dobson: Last Updated 16th February 2024
Posted In: Company News | Events xx 31179

Swindon College & Scrapstore

Helping to give waste materials a new lease of life…

GWP Group has supported Swindon College art students in creating a striking art installation at the Brunel Shopping Centre. This latest creative collaboration, known as “Repurpose”, has seen students create pieces entirely from waste packaging materials.

Repurpose is the third collaboration between GWP Group and Swindon College, following on from successful projects for Swindon Foodbank and GWP Groups twenty-fifth birthday celebrations.

The project focused on making new objects from items that would have been discarded or recycled. These were then publicly displayed in the Brunel throughout April 2016.

Repurpose Swindon College
Swindon College art students create artwork from cardboard as part of the "repurpose" project

The background to Repurpose

Students at Swindon College School of Art and Design were commissioned by GWP Group to create completely new, interesting and potentially useful objects from a selection of waste.

Off-cuts from GWP Group’s manufacturing processes were donated to the college for the project. Besides the work counting towards their coursework, it also contributes to the students work experience requirements.

Recycled materials Swindon College
Recycled materials are delivered to Swindon Colleges' North Star campus

A selection of cardboard, protective foam, Correx® and Bicell offcuts were delivered to the college on Friday 19 February 2016.

Staff in the School of Art and Design, with a little help from the GWP Group delivery team had the materials ready for the students to start work on their project pieces on Monday 22 February.

As the picture above shows – there was plenty of material for the students to choose from!

Visiting the students during the project

GWP Packaging MD Ruth Cook and the GWP Group marketing team visited the college on Thursday 25 February to see the progress being made by the students on the Repurpose project.

The visitors from GWP Group were impressed with the range of ideas that the students had come up with. Items in production included Correx® flowers, a pirate ship, moving ferris wheel, Stag’s head and even a Correx® car.

Ruth said:

It’s been really interesting seeing what the students have come up with today and hearing how they have arrived at their ideas. Their creativity never fails to impress me.

Exhibiting the Repurposed Artwork

Following completion of the pieces, the artwork was moved to the The Brunel Plaza, Swindon shopping centre at the beginning of April 2016, where it could be viewed by the public.

Brunel centre art exhibition
A display of the artwork created by the students at the Brunel Shopping Centre in Swindon

Initially scheduled to be on display for just a single week, the artwork proved to be so popular that the exhibition was extended to run until 4 May.

Jill Marshall-Simms, Curriculum Area Manager for Art and Design said:

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.

Ruth Cook, MD at GWP Packaging, added:

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.

Partnership with Swindon ScrapStore

Following the success of the project, GWP Group has also committed to donate a proportion of its waste cardboard, Correx® and protective foam to the Swindon ScrapStore on an ongoing basis.

The material provided will be available for use by members of the local community for a range of creative or practical projects.

Donating waste materials to the Swindon ScrapStore also means that GWP Group has a more creative way of disposing of off-cuts and overs. It further enables the company to support the local community too.

Swindon Scrapstore
Olivia McCann of Swindon Scrapstore, alongside a Swindon College art student and a parrot made from corrugated plastic!

Olivia McCann – Project Manager from Swindon ScrapStore – also attended the initial college visit and talked to the students about their projects.

Olivia was particularly keen to hear how the students were making use of the materials donated by GWP Group – especially Correx® which is a less well known material.

Committed to waste reduction

As part of the company ethos, GWP Group is committed to reducing waste and minimising any impact on the environment.

This includes working to ISO14000 and EMAS standards, and the intelligent design and manufacture of packaging products to eliminate as much waste as possible.

Working with Swindon College on projects such as Repurpose, and establishing collaborations with organisations such as the ScrapStore, offer additional opportunities for GWP Group to further enhance the commitment to reducing waste.

Success of Swindon College Projects

GWP Group is keen to support the local community and has successfully worked with Swindon College previously.

The first project saw engineering students from the college work alongside GWP Packaging designers in order to create a durable food collection box for Swindon Foodbank. This was so successful that the boxes were manufactured and are still in use at the Foodbank distribution centre in West Swindon today.

Swindon College art project
Another Swindon College art student, creating a 3 dimensional model out of cardboard

Most recently, GWP Group worked with Swindon College on the TWENTYFIVE project. This helped to mark the GWP Group’s twenty-fifth birthday, and culminated in an exhibition that was held at the Brunel Centre in Swindon.

Find out more...

Please click here for further information about the art and design courses available at Swindon College, or alternatively please visit the Swindon Scrapstore Facebook page for more information about the material and items they provide.

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About the Author

Matt Dobson, GWP Group Marketing Manager

Matt Dobson

Marketing Manager | GWP Group

Matt has worked in the packaging industry for approximately 9 years, having joined GWP Group as Marketing Executive in 2012. [Read full bio…]

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