EPA - The Story of Your Stuff 2021 competition

The story of disposable face masks video claimed top prize in the EPA’s The Story of Your Stuff 2021 competition.

The Story of Your Stuff 2021 competition

A Record number of entries from schools across the country for 2021 competition

The EPA’s most recent The Story of Your Stuff competition received a record number of entries in March 2021, with over 300 contenders making submissions from schools across the country. Now in its fifth year, the competition hinges on story-telling around real environmental challenges and brings together curiosity, creativity and science. Students are encouraged to consider the challenges to our environment and contemplate how we might tackle them through modification of production and consumption practices for the everyday ‘stuff’ in our lives.

They are encouraged to use the EPA’s national information portal as a main source of information where they can also view the EPA State of Environment Report 2020 and products, including the upcoming youth-focused version.

The competition taps into the skillset that our young people have for imagery and short video communication suitable for social media platforms. In thinking about climate action and environmental protection, it encourages participants to spread the word about sustainability among their friends and family and make lasting and impactful changes.

The 2021 overall winning entry was created by Robert Urquhart from Presentation College Athenry in Galway. Robert’s very topical ‘Story of Disposable Face Masks’ used excellent hand-drawn illustrations as well as strong scripting and narration to look at the manufacture and use of disposable face masks. As the overall competition winner, Robert claimed the top prize of €500, along with €500 for his school.

The winners were announced at a virtual finale and showcase event on 21st April at which Dr Norah Patten, competition ambassador and candidate-astronaut, delivered an inspirational address. The event was hosted by the EPA and held in partnership with the UCD Earth Institute and attendees also heard from representatives of the EPA and UCD.

‘The Story of Face Masks’ by Keisha Abdulhaman from Sion Hill Dominican College, Blackrock, Co. Dublin won second prize and ‘The Story of Disposable Cutlery’ by Julia Wojtysiak from Le Cheile Secondary School, Tyrrelstown, Dublin 15 placed third.

The prize winners for the climate topic and Irish-language awards were:

  • Climate topic prize: Oonagh Hales from John the Baptist Community School, Co. Limerick for her entry, ‘The Story of Plastic Cutlery’
  • Irish-language prize: Rebecca Ni Challanain and Kate Ni Mhathuna from Gaelcholaiste Charraig Ui Leighin, Carrigaline, Co. Cork for their entry, ‘Scéal Lipéad Crochadh’ which looks at clothing labels.

About ‘The Story of Your Stuff’: ‘The Story of Your Stuff’ is a nationwide competition for secondary school students run by the EPA. The competition challenges students to investigate the life cycle of their everyday ‘stuff’ which could be an object or activity through a creative medium, considering the entirety of the item’s life cycle. The EPA’s Ireland’s Environment website, has a range of resources to assist students’ research.

The competition will open for entries in January 2022 with a closing date in early March 2022. You can visit for competition guidelines, tips, a teachers area which will include a lesson plan and poster and follow TSOYS on Instagram @EPAIreland and @storyofyourstuff.


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