Despite the beauty of the country, Togo's cityscape is characterised by rubbish. In neighbouring countries, too, one can already observe how the situation can escalate if the problem is not addressed. Many local people have no relationship to the disposal of plastics; there is neither regular waste collection nor recycling facilities. The only option for disposal is usually incineration, but by doing so they not only destroy valuable resources but also harm the environment and themselves.
As part of the international project, the students began by analysing over 400 pictures of rubbish collections in Togo and identifying the material. In material experiments, they tested the possibilities of mechanical deformation of the materials and developed techniques and products for reusing the plastics. A trip to Togo gave the students a real insight into the situation on the ground. During workshops in Kpalimé, the students were able to pass on their acquired knowledge to the people and show them that residual materials can be understood as recyclable materials and integrated into local crafts.
The decision of the selection committee states: "Thanks to the project, students had the opportunity to apply the specialised knowledge they had acquired during their studies in social and ecological fields and to strengthen their commitment to civil society. The project addresses several of the UN's sustainability goals and shows in an impressive way how internationalisation as a driver for social innovation can contribute to solving society's major problems." With the approval of the award winner, you can download the submitted concept.
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