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Zack Daniels and Alex Pullen, Mayor's Low Carbon Entrepreneur competition finalists

An idea to clean up the London Underground has catapulted two Product Design students at London South Bank University to the finals of the Mayor's Low Carbon Entrepreneur competition

Zack Daniels from Medway in Kent and Alex Pullen from Southend-on-Sea in Essex have developed a concept to install a magazine holding infrastructure on London tubes as a more formal way of sharing daily free newspapers. 

The idea was chosen from more than 200 entries to be one of only ten finalists for the prestigious competition. The pair were then called upon to pitch their green business ideas to a prestigious panel of judges including Dragon's Den's Deborah Meaden and Innocent Drinks founder Richard Reed in the hope of winning the £20,000 prize to help take their idea to market.

"On the three main tube lines around 9.3 tonnes of waste in the form of discarded free newspapers are gathered every day. Our idea is to create and facilitate a formal method for commuters to be able to share their papers, which would ultimately reduce the need to print so many copies," says Zack.

Alex adds: "Our campaign caption is 'follow the Paper Craze'. We would love to see London adopt this scheme and perhaps grow it beyond the Underground and onto other modes of public transport."

Judge and leading businesswoman Deborah Meaden says: "It's always fantastic to see such creativity and entrepreneurial drive from London's students."

The winning entry was announced at a glittering ceremony at the Crystal - Siemens flagship Sustainable Cities Initiative at Royal Victoria Dock.

While the pair missed out on the grand prize, they were congratulated on progressing to the final by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

These ideas could go on to become the electric cars or solar panels of the future and it is students like these that will go on to help foster jobs and growth in the capital's green economy for years to come.

- Boris Johnson, Mayor of London