Would you like to:

  • Reduce plastic packaging from your suppliers?

  • Be able to assess alternative packaging materials?

  • Confidently justify reasons for reducing single-use packaging with your colleagues?

This course is designed for anyone who wants to:

  • Buy goods

    If you are responsible for procurement or sourcing of goods, you will learn how to talk to suppliers confidently about packaging.

  • Sell stuff

    If you are a producer, you will learn how to design out waste and packaging using circular economy principles.

"80% of environmental impacts are determined at the design stage."
(Ellen McArthur Foundation)


For your business and team:

  • Consistency for all buyers

    Remove confusion around plastics and packaging with guidelines for all buyers

  • Focus and prioritisation

    Rather than being overwhelmed by the scale of the challenge, you will know exactly what areas to focus first in your supply chain

  • Reduce waste costs

    By reducing and removing packaging from your supply chain you can reduce your own waste management costs.

What's included:

  • Bite-size lessons

    Content will be delivered via online videos, text and downloads.

  • Case studies

    Watch interviews and case studies from a range of businesses who are reducing plastics within their supply chain

  • Activities

    Apply your learning to your workplace with practical activities

Course commitment

We offer flexibility that fits with your schedule. You can access the content any time, and implement practical activities in your workplace at your own pace

  • 40 minutes of short video lectures

    3-10 minute videos to watch at your own pace

  • Practical activities

    Optional activities that you can apply to your workplace to create procurement guidelines

  • Access for 1 year

Knowledge & practical action

On completing this course you will be able to:

  • Specify your requirements for packaging in order to identify alternative solutions

  • Compare the sustainability of different materials and packaging

  • Identify what is within your control and what to prioritise

  • Apply Circular Economy principles to design out waste

Watch Intro Video

Watch the introduction to the course

Schools of thought

This course covers principles from:

  • Responsible Procurement

  • Circular economy

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome: Working with your suppliers and buyers

    • Introduction

    • Bonus Materials

    • CPD Accreditation

  • 2

    Specification: Getting specific on what your packaging should do

    • Do you know?

    • Specification process

    • Specification exercise

    • Knowledge check

    • Learning Action: Specification process

  • 3

    Whole life costing: From purchase to disposal understanding the full cost of a product

    • Do you know?

    • Whole life costing

    • Whole life costing spreadsheet

    • Knowledge check

    • Learning Action: Whole life costing

  • 4

    Sustainability impact analysis of material choices

    • Do you know?

    • Sustainability impact analysis

    • Sustainability impact analysis

    • Knowledge check

    • Learning Action: Sustainability impact analysis

  • 5

    Sphere of control: Where should you focus your attention in your supply chain?

    • Do you know?

    • Sphere of control

    • Sphere of control spreadsheet

    • Knowledge check

    • Learning Action: Sphere of control

    • Case Study: University of Bristol

  • 6

    Circular economy adoption: Redesigning products with suppliers

    • Do you know?

    • Circular economy design principles

    • Links: Circular economy design

    • Knowledge check

    • Learning Action: Circular economy design

  • 7

    Tips for purchasing teams

    • Do you know?

    • Purchasing made easy

    • Knowledge check

    • Learning Action: Purchasing tips

  • 8

    Case studies

    • Case Study: Duette – House of Apres

    • Case Study: Better Food

    • Case Study: Grow Bristol

    • Case Study: Internet Fusion Group

  • 9

    You did it!

    • Being a change maker!

  • 10

    Learning actions and feedback

    • Learning Action Assignments

Be inspired

Watch interviews with organisations who have already taken action:

Better Food
Watch Intro Video

Meet the House of Apres who worked with their supply chain to create 100% plastic-free packaging

Sign up

And take the first steps to being a change maker in your workplace

"70% of SMEs acknowledge that staff want to reduce their single-use plastic footprint"
(Brita & Keep Britain Tidy Report 2019)

Get your team involved

To discuss a team package, get in touch with us!

If you have a green team with people working across different departments, we can offer a team package so everyone can benefit from the content. We can also provide further support and feedback. Email us with your team size and we’ll give you a quote.


Sustainability & Behaviour Change Consultant

Livvy Drake

Livvy has a wealth of experience delivering behaviour change and waste reduction campaigns. Livvy works with the City to Sea and Refill team on plastic-reduction and reusables campaigns. Her talks and workshops are delivered in a way that makes complex and confusing topics accessible and entertaining.


Here's what attendees of our workshops have to say

“Very comprehensive look at everyday materials. A lot of detail, but that is necessary to understand the topic fully. Engaging delivery.”

"The process allowed me to work out how I can take the theory back to my workplace and work on real-world solutions"

“I have a better understanding of what motivates people, workshopping live ideas was also really helpful to get the brain working”

Bonus material

  • The Tipping Point: Where does our Waste go?

    1.5 hour video download that gives an overview of plastics, waste management systems and what changes are afoot. Includes introductions to key concepts such as waste-to-energy and circular economy.

  • 30-day Plastic Challenge

    A guide for people looking to reduce single-use plastic in their day-to-day life.

Earn CPD points

With the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs

In addition to gaining practical knowledge and the power to make change, you can also get recognition for your studies with certification and CPD (Continuous Professional Development) points from the IOEE (Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship).

Sign up now

Introductory Rates:

Want to create more change?

Our full 6-week course supports you to better understand plastics and packaging. You’ll also learn how to do an audit, work with your supply chain and deliver behaviour change in your workplace


  • Are the practical activities compulsory?

    No. However, you and your business will get more out of the course if you undertake them, as they are all focused on making changes within your workplace. We’ll provide guidance documents for every practical activity. But these are optional and can be done at a time that suits you.

  • Who are the Sustainable Sidekicks?

    The Sustainable Sidekicks are a consultancy focused on supporting workplaces, green champions and event organisers. We are here to support your sustainability journey with our knowledge and experience in waste reduction, behaviour change and engagement campaigns. We have a range of backgrounds from event sustainability, plastics and food waste reduction campaigns; as well as corporate and student engagement campaigns. Head to www.sustainablesidekicks.com to find out more.

  • I don't have time for a course, can you come to my business and support us?

    Yes, we offer consultancy services. Head to www.sustainablesidekicks.com and drop us an email through the contact form.

  • Still have questions?

    Then drop us an email: courses [at] sustainablesidekicks.com

  • Can I upgrade?

    If you complete this course and would like to do the full 6-week course on ‘Tackling Plastics in your Workplace’, we can refund the cost of this one from the full course.

"69% of SME senior decision makers agree that preventing single-use plastic waste is important to their business"
(Brita & Keep Britain Tidy Report 2019)

In collaboration with

City to Sea, the team behind Refill.