Not a Waste – KLU Bootcamp in Sustainability and Plastic Recycling

Bootcamp Recycling group photo of participants

On October 5 - 7 the Center for Sustainable Logistics and Supply Chains at Kühne Logistics University hosted a three-day workshop on plastic recycling for undergraduate students as part of the EU-funded project CREAToR. CREAToR aims to contribute to a circular economy by implementing ways to collect secondary raw materials, identify and remove hazardous flame retardants from the materials, and finally reuse them.

At the Bootcamp in Sustainability and Plastic Recycling, students were tasked with designing innovative collection and disposal systems that foster closed-loop recycling for household waste. Seventeen students from 14 different universities participated in the workshop. The event was supported by experts from Kühne Logistics University, EREMA Engineering Recycling Maschinen und Anlagen, and the Department of Polymer Engineering at the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology.

Thank you so much for the interesting input we got during the Bootcamp on plastic recycling. The Design Thinking workshop was amazing-getting creative in an interdisciplinary team was a lot of fun!
Sarah Wilhelm, Hochschule München

On day one, experts in the field gave lectures on the recycling process, how recycling systems are organized and financed, and current challenges in plastic recycling. On day two, the students put this knowledge into action in an intensive one-day ‘Design Thinking’ sprint. The students used this innovation method to generate ideas for improving the experience of collecting plastic waste. During the workshop the students interviewed consumers on the street. They all concluded that people generally lack the necessary knowledge to dispose of waste correctly. So all three student groups developed ideas to help the consumer sort the trash correctly. On day three, the groups presented their ideas to the panel of experts from industry and research. "All three ideas were really interesting. They captured very well the struggle of the consumers to correctly dispose of packaging waste," Irma Mikonsaari said, coordinator of the CREAToR project from Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology.

Perfect start for the@CREAToR bootcamp at Kuehne Logistics University, a lot of information was shared with the students!
Irma Mikonsaari, Forschung und Entwicklung bei Fraunhofer-Institute for Chemical Technology

On the whole, the workshop was a great experience for all participants, both students and experts. The students enjoyed the mix of theoretical input and hands-on experience. For the experts, it was a great way to gain new inspiration and share the savvy gathered in the CREAToR project. Everyone enjoyed the opportunity to network and visit Hamburg. "It was three long and intensive days. However, the students were highly motivated, and overall it was a great experience," Moritz Jäger-Roschko, PhD candidate at Kühne Logistics University, added. He also organized the event.

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