Chemistry for Good Challenge

A nationwide challenge to make the world a greener place.

Join Stage 3 of our Festivals of Chemistry and get stuck into a nationwide challenge which explores how we can use chemistry to make the world a greener place.



14-16 year olds based in the United Kingdom in teams of up to 4 people.



There are approximately 11.2 billion tons of solid waste disposed annually worldwide, says the UN Environment Programme. This includes all different types of waste, such as electronics, biomass and plastics. At this increasing rate, the poor disposal of waste disposal and its effects on the environment will have negative impacts on living things and the Earth itself.

Your challenge, in a team of up to 4, is to find ways that could help stop waste or make its disposal better at a local, national or global level. Your solution can be made in to either a model/demonstration, presentation and/or a report, whichever best showcases your findings and explains what you have done! Your idea should be made with resources you can access easily and shouldn’t cost you lots of money.

Getting Started

This topic is broad and covers lots of different types of waste. Think about whether the waste can be stopped completely or whether options for putting it in the bin can be made better.

For example, some waste could use eco-friendly or compostable materials that means they can break down naturally or are easily recycled. Or, some waste could be separated in new ways to ensure that its harmful effects to the environment are reduced, for example, certain bits might be reused. Finally, consider the uses in the long term, as this could impact whether it works in relation to labour, cost, time and equipment.

Developing your idea

To start, work out the type of waste you are going to focus on, it can be one or more! Read, watch and listen to some of the resources that we have suggested or find your own.

Think about the questions:

  • Why the current waste disposal method doesn’t work well, how it impacts the environment and the long term effects?
  • Why is your chosen waste type poorly disposed? Is it because of lack of facilities, lots of people needed in the process or high costs?
  • Where is the waste most common? This could be at a local, national or global level.

The solution you come up with should be better than what is currently offered or used at the moment. Using data will help you decide this along with other sources of information e.g. articles, images, documentaries. This will also provide you with evidence about why you have chosen your solution.

Use our handy step-by-step guide to help you along in the competition



Submission Deadline: Friday 23rd September 2022

Judging period: Monday 26th September – Wednesday 2nd November 2022

Winners announced: Friday 4th November 2022

Awards Ceremony: Friday 2nd December


Winners will:

  • have the chance to meet a leading chemist to discuss their idea and how it can be developed
  • receive a subscription to an international chemistry magazine
  • enjoy the gift of a goodie bag containing a book, mug, molymod kit and lab coat

3 runners up will get a goodie bag for each member of the team.



If you have any questions, please contact our Festivals Programme Manager, Sam Howard, at [email protected].


Good luck!

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