Media release: QMU student tackles plastic waste with innovative, new solution


AN enterprising student from Queen Margaret University (QMU) is tackling the problem of plastic bottle waste which sees 15 million plastic bottles added to landfills every day.

Jake Elliot Hook and his Edinburgh College teammate, Amee Ritchie, were winners in the October round of the Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) Fresh Ideas competition with their new design for a healthy reusable alternative.

The Fresh Ideas competition runs monthly from October to January. In 2016-17, nearly 400 entries were received from students in colleges and universities across Scotland.

Jake and Amee will now go on to the next stage of the competition and a chance of winning a top prize of up to £1,000.

Talking about the win, Vivian Rutherford – from the Research and Knowledge Exchange Unit at QMU – said: “We are very excited to see our students progress in this national competition. We are committed to developing and supporting our students and creating a culture of innovation on campus with lots of opportunities for students to expand beyond their studies.”

Fiona Godsman, CEO of SIE, continued: “It’s great to see students tackling big picture issues and shows that Scotland’s young people are full of innovative ideas and the drive to make a difference. This is an excellent idea that has potential to have a huge impact.”

The Fresh Ideas competition runs monthly from until January 2018. Students can enter online at:



Notes for editors:

The Scottish Institute for Enterprise

Since 2000, the Scottish Institute for Enterprise has championed entrepreneurship with a Scotland-wide programme of activities to complement and support student enterprise and innovation in universities and colleges. SIE plays a vital role in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, identifying and supporting ideas at an early stage and ensuring they receive the assistance and encouragement they need to continue to develop and thrive.

Many of Scotland’s biggest recent success stories came out of early work with SIE, such as Snap40 and Pick Protection, and in the last year alone, SIE alumni have secured over £6.5 million in funding and additional awards. SIE is supported by the Scottish Funding Council and is part of the Scotland CAN DO framework.

For more information about SIE, go to:

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