Plastic Fantastic End of Second Quarter

It’s been a busy few months here at RIG working in Broomhill on our CCF (Climate Challenge Fund) project, ‘Plastic Fantastic’. We’ve got 2 our of our 4 in-house plastic recycling machines up and running, now making pellets and filament from plastic waste. St. Patrick’s and Whinhill Primary schools welcomed us back to work with 2 more classes and we introduced a new Eco-Warrior Handbook to encourage the kids to document their learning. We’re also working with a class in Notre Dame high school, creating work from waste products to their class themes of ‘Fantasy Futures’ and ‘Fantasy Forest’, and are continuing with our 3 weekly classes from the Broomhill Art Flat. On top of all this, we also celebrated Keep Scotland Beautiful’s ‘Climate Week’ with an Eco-Day of workshops at the Art Flat.

For the primary school workshops in this block, we decided to return to creating a new item each week. Autumn proves a fantastic time to take this approach, with lots of seasonal events calling out for homemade crafts. The children worked on origami bats and cats folded from scrap paper which were threaded together to make Halloween garlands, hanging ghosts from plastic bottles, bendy-legged spiders pipe cleaners and old magazines and cosy tea-light holders using glass jars to warm up the cold winter nights.

As well as using their upcycling skills, the classes also worked on making posters using scrap paper to raise awareness about the importance of recycling and what happens when we don’t: global warming and climate change due to increased production of greenhouse gasses through release CO2 in the production of new materials, and methane from the rubbish rotting in landfill. Each student also completed their very own Eco-Warrior Handbook with activities such as a crossword identifying key words and phrases from a hint, a match-the-pictures puzzle in which they have to link the rubbish to the correct bin, and a glossary where they right down new words or phrases and their definitions which are decided upon as a class.


The students in Notre Dame have so far tried their hand at the 3D pens, showing surprising skill! (I write surprising not as a comment on the class’ capabilities, but because the RIG staff in the office took ages to get to grips with them…) We then moved on to brainstorming key motifs within their class themes of ‘Fantasy Future’ and ‘Fantasy Forest’ which we could translate across different mediums. Collage provided our next inspiration, looking at ways we could create new images from magazine scraps.

We have three weekly classes working from the Art Flat every Thursday from 3.30-5.30pm. Amelia Rowe leads ‘Creative Plastics‘ (originally titled ‘Melting and Weaving‘) in which she teaches participants how to make unusual and useful objects from waste plastics, especially those that are hard to recycle. We’ve had purses, baskets and decorations as well as a necklace. Learn how to make one of these yourself by watching this vlog.

3D Drawing is also proving to be a popular class. As well as taking the pens into Notre Dame, we work with them every Friday from 3.30pm-5pm in the Art Flat. Participants have been making fridge magnets, badges and hanging decorations (perfect for Christmas) and we’ve even had 3D dinosaur models being made!

Susan McInnes finished her costumes and clothing workshops, with all of the participants leaving with an upcycled item of clothing as well as a Halloween costume made from donated fabrics. Susan and Steph Davidson are now working together every Thursday evening from 6pm-8pm to create decorative covers for acoustic panels in the new community centre. These panels will be inspired by our Broomy’s Bess Garden designs as well as the local heritage. Like all of our workshops, this session is free and open to everyone (under 13s accompanied by an adult) so pop along if you fancy contributing to some public art or want to learn some new textiles skills. Steph and Susan will cover screen printing, embroidery and patchwork.

For more info on Plastic Fantastic or any of the other workshops or project RIG Arts delivers, you can like us on Facebook, email us at or call us on 01475 649359.

And don’t forget to check in with all our ‘how-to’ vlogs for hints and tips on upcycling and making at home.





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