Race Against Waste, a Dutch project
Netherlands: Getting the young to act
June 21, 2023

Everyone can make a difference. That is one of the takeaways of the Dutch Race Against Waste. The organisation offers practical solutions for a large group of young people, all aiming at making an impact together. Or as they themselves say: We dream of a world without waste!

Race Against Waste inspires and involves everyone to participate in the transition towards a circular economy. Through the Textile Races they raise awareness among the younger generations about consuming, reusing, repairing, and recycling.

“We dream of a world without waste!”

Building young citizen awareness

Race Against Waste engages young generations into sustainability. Through educational action campaigns, children from more than 600 primary schools in the Netherlands, Germany and France have learned about the circular economy and energy saving.
Race Against Waste has three project types, called races: the E-waste Race, the Textile Race, and the Energy Race. In these races, children learn about how people impact the environment. But much more importantly, they also learn what to do about it.
In a race, school teams compete against each other, to make as much positive impact as possible. The teams receive points for carrying out repairs, swap meets, energy-saving actions and collecting items for reuse and recycling. And they also involve their parents, neighbours, and family.

How they do it
Even if the races are a form of competition, Race Against Waste emphasises om collaborations and to work together. There are three distinct ways the organisation works. Education, Inspiration and Activation are all a natural part of each race.
Race Against Waste is a social enterprise, with the aim to support circular economy. Their projects are conducted as collaborations with schools, citizens, partners, and municipalities. The Textile Race is an educational project for primary schools, making the collection of old and damaged textiles fun and easy – combining education with action.

Race Against Waste teach children how to be responsible and sustainable. In each race, 10 primary schools per municipality compete to collect and repair as much textile as possible.
They work with local textile collectors, who help them collect textiles and sort them for reuse and recycling. More than half of the collected textiles are selected for reuse and put back on the market. The ones that cannot be reused, are recycled.

Yearly stats

  • 450 Dutch schools involved in Textile waste and E-waste races, reaching 200 000 children, parents, friends, and neighbours
  • Collection of more than 150,000 kg of textiles, saving 2 138 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
  • Some 500 000 electronic devices saved, saving 658 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Learn more about Race Against Waste
Their Web page.
On Youtube.

Read more about Textile waste management? Click here!