The winners of the environmental competition Tea Light Hunt were greeted on Friday by local school musicians, three managers on a field trip and a magician who turned tea lights into frying pans, when they visited Hydro's recycling facility in Holmestrand. It was a magical experience for young and old.
Did you know that used aluminium tea light cups can be processed into drink cans and frying pans? Over 26,000 school children know that – those who participated in the nationwide environmental competition, Tea Light Hunt.
From Finnmark to Holmestrand
To become Norwegian champions in the Tea Light Hunt, three girls from Sørvær School in Finnmark each collected 6,092 tea lights and won first prize: a class trip to Hydro's aluminium plant in Holmestrand.
They were joined there by the county champions from Buskerud: the grade four class from Helgerud School. This class collected a total of 144,345 used aluminium tea light cups, more than any other of the classes who participated.
On Friday, they saw first-hand how some of the tea lights they collected were recycled in Hydro's recycling facility. Afterwards, they were amazed by magician Jon Ensor, who transformed tea light cups into drink cans, frying pans and other aluminium products.
"Aluminium is a magical material. What once was a tea light can be recycled and turned into a mobile phone or a kitchen utensil in its next life," said Hydro's President and CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg afterwards.
The school children were also impressed.
"We have looked forward to seeing how the aluminium cups are recycled, and we were right – it was a huge machine," says Mirja Andersen Tuven and Isabell Hansen from Sørvær Oppvekstsenter.
"We learned that the aluminium tea light cups can be used for new things, like bicycles and beverage cans."
After the visit to Holmestrand, the three classmates planned to visit the Tusenfryd amusement park and view the Royal Palace in Oslo over the weekend, before returning home.
Impressive commitment to the environment
WWF Secretary General Nina Jensen and Head of IKEA Norway Carl Janzen were also present in Holmestrand on Friday. Both had a great time meeting with the school children from Helgerud and Sørvær.
"It is inspiring to see how the children have engaged friends, family and their local community to collect tea candles. It shows that they have a strong environmental commitment and can influence the adults around them to recycle. Tea light cups are not garbage," says Janzen.
He is supported by Nina Jensen.
"I am very impressed with the efforts of both teachers and pupils. Tea Light Hunt has been successful in raising awareness of how important it is to reuse our resources," she says.
Over 26,000 students from more than 1,350 schools have participated in Tea Light Hunt. Together, they collected more than 13 million used aluminium tea light cups.
Aluminium is easy to reuse and can be recycled using only five percent of the energy needed to create it initially. The goal of Tea Light Hunt was to increase knowledge about aluminium and recycling.
- Contacts for more information:
Ina Toften, WWF Norway, +47 95905947
Cathrine Myhren, IKEA Norway, +47 40075600
Lars Nermoen, Hydro, +47 90240153