Student movements have kick-started some of the biggest educational, social and political global changes – and today we’re calling on you to start a Rubbish Revolution at your university.

CAMPUS gives you a step-by-step guide to gathering a group, building support and making some noise.


December 1984
At UC Berkeley, California, student walkouts and sleep-ins result in the university divesting $3.1 billion from companies doing business with the apartheid government of South Africa.
May 2006: The ‘Penguin Revolution’
Students in Chile march for a more equal and accessible education system. The campaign accelerated change and increased equality within Chile’s education system.
March 2019
A student campaign targets university investment in fossil fuels leads to 76 commitments by UK universities to divest £12bn of investment.
May 2019: Skolstrejk för klimatet
1.4 million students from over 125 countries, led by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, march to demand action to prevent further global warming and climate change. The strikes push climate change onto the political agenda.
Students all over the UK build a powerful movement to tackle the explosion of plastic pollution, reducing pollution, sickness and disease for people living in poverty across the world.

The Plastic Problem

Our world has a rubbish problem, and it’s hitting people living in poverty the hardest.

Did you know EVERY 30 SECONDS:

  • the UK throws away two double-decker busloads of waste
  • 30 double-decker busloads of plastic waste are burnt or dumped in developing countries
  • one person dies from diseases caused by mismanaged waste: diseases such as diarrhea, malaria, heart disease, and cancer. That’s up to a million deaths every year


Universities play a key role in influencing change – that’s why we’re calling on you to bring the Rubbish Revolution to your campus. Sign up below to get everything you need to start your own movement.

Here’s how it works:


To start, gather a small group of friends who can help be a catalyst for the campaign. We’ll send you conversation starters, information, stats and stories. You could even run it as an event – CU nights are a great opportunity for this.


Focus on three areas: 1) encourage lecturers and professors to sign an open letter 2) add signatures to Tearfund’s Rubbish Revolution petition 3) ask your SU to cut their single-use plastic and pass a motion in support of the campaign.


Get creative and organise a stunt to step up the pressure. Creative actions inspire us all to imagine a better, more just world, and are a powerful and memorable way to shift the public conversation. Think up your own ideas or use one of the examples provided.

Start Your Revolution

Enter your details and get a step-by-step guide on how to run your own university campaign.

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