In cooperation with the Urban Waste Management Facilities of Cologne, Germany, Elmar Sander leaded a student project at ecosign/Acedemy for sustainable design. The project aimed to develop innovative and sustainable design solutions for urban waste issues. Amongst other creative design ideas, student Paul Ketz designed the so called “Pfandring”, an application for public waste bins that solve the urban problem of glass bottles that are thrown into the waste bins. People, who collect the bottles to earn deposits, are often forced to grab broken glass or filth to reach the deposit bottles.
The “Pfandring” lighten the work conditions of the deposit bottle collectors and avoids contaminations. Aside from its concrete function, the “Pfandring” put the humiliating work conditions of the deposit bottle collectors up for a general discussion. The project not only went viral in social media discussions, but was also realized and implemented in diverse German cities and public spaces like airports and train stations. For more information, see www.Pfandring.de