Enterprising pupils bag a deal with Tesco.
SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD David Gaggini never expected to clinch a deal with supermarket giant Tesco, when he and four friends came up with a plastic bag recycling idea.
David, who is a pupil at Sherbourne Fields School in Coundon, Coventry, is managing director of his sixth form's Young Enterprise project.
The newly-formed teenage company also includes Emma Donaldson, Alex Brewer, Jonathan McGeown and Jirka Miko, who realised that most shoppers feel uncomfortable about the throwaway culture of plastic bags.
Alex, who is also 17, was concerned about the way many bags end up drifting into the ocean and causing injuries to dolphins and sea turtles.
As a result, the young entrepreneurs at the school, which caters for pupils with special needs, got to work.
They teamed up with business mentor Darren Print, personnel manager at the Arena Park branch of Tesco, and came up with their own Bag of Bags.
Alex and Emma helped work on a design for their own calico (unbleached cotton) bag holder - stamped with a green painted child's foot.
With the product designed, the team then enjoyed their first sales pitch to Tesco customers.
Shopper Cynthia Hood, aged 75, from Nuneaton, was the first customer to be offered one of the new cloth bag holders when she turned up at the Arena Park shopping centre.
The Young Enterprise team agreed to offer her the first holder - from a total run of 2,000 - free of charge.
"Normally, we will charge pounds 2.99," explained sales and marketing man Jonathan, who expects to make enough profit to be able to donate pounds 400 to Warwickshire Wildlife's nature reserve at Brandon Marsh.
Company secretary Emma, aged 16, and production expert Jirka, also 16, will be helping to present their business plan in the first stage of the Young Enterprise competition for special needs schools next week.
Meanwhile, Tesco buyers have promised to redirect any profit it makes back to the school, which will use the money to take the whole sixth form to London for the day.
The entrepreneurial group has also entered the Telegraph's eco-bag competition. The task was to come up with a great design for an environmentally friendly bag and the winners will see their design printed on 250 jute bags to be given away to readers. The winning design will be announced next week.
DS230408TESC1 ECO STARS... Sherbourne Fields school pupils (from left) Emma Donaldson, David Gaggini, Jonathan McGeown and Alex Brewer with their bag holder and (right) David gives Cynthia Hood her bag holder. Picture: Darryl Smith; DS230408TESC2