“AK Umwelt” in Straubing:
Plastic containers for the campus
Celine, what exactly is the “AK Umwelt”?
Celine Sauer: We are a group of ten students who want to make a difference with regard to environmental issues. We came up with the idea in December of last year, at a film evening in the “Unikino”. We all knew each other before and agreed that we would like to show commitment at our campus. We are all students of Renewable Resources, and we just wanted to do a bit more.
What are the goals of the “AK Umwelt”?
Our main goal is to raise awareness for environmental topics at the university. Sustainability is an important topic at our campus, but you wouldn’t notice on first sight. Our aim is to change that. Our first major project is the aspect of waste disposal in Straubing – which, from our point of view, is not as good as it could be, since there is no “Yellow bag” for plastic waste.
How are you trying to change that?
We asked ourselves why this is – and how we could change it. So we organized an excursion to the local disposal center, where we spoke to the people who are in charge.
And what did you learn there?
The ZAW is of the opinion that a “Yellow bag” is not necessary, since many citizens are already sorting their waste in order to bring plastic waste to the recycling centers by car. For us students, however, this is not a good solution, because many of us don’t have a car. Thus, we would prefer to have containers for plastics on the campus.
Do you have any further ideas about how to improve campus in terms of environmental issues?
Yes, there’s another major concern we are working on: our Mensateria sells coffee in disposable cups, which produces an enormous amount of waste and is environmentally harmful. We want to abolish the disposable cups and replace them with “real” cups that can be used again and again.
How are the chances?
It’s not that easy, because our small canteen belongs to the Student Union Regensburg and can not make decisions like this by itself.
And how are you trying to solve the problem?
We are planning to contact the Student Union and suggest to work on a solution together. For the time being, we provide cups in our student room – and we encourage other students to use them or to bring along their own cups.
You are a very small group. How is the “AK Umwelt” organized?
As I said, we were already friends – or knew each other, at least – before we founded the Umwelt AG, and a few people from the lower semesters joined us. Now, we are around ten people.
How do you meet up?
Currently, we meet up privately, every two to three weeks. The meetings are quite unformal – without a specific agenda for the meetings, so far. But we will bring more structure into it all, as it is getting more serious.
You are still a very young working group – so what are the plans for the future?
In the summer semester, almost half of our members will be completing their studies here at Campus Straubing, so they will leave the group. We really hope that the new courses of study in Straubing will attract a lot of interested and dedicated students, and that some of them will join our group. We would like to implement more larger projects.
(Interview: Sabrina Czechofsky)
Celine Sauer (21) is a student of Renewable Resources – in the fourth semester of her Bachelor’s course. She is from Holzkirchen. As she didn’t necessarily want to study in Munich, but not too far away either, Straubing was an ideal location for Celine. When she is not busy in the scope of the Umwelt AG, she plays in the Science Centre’s leisure soccer team.
Student life at Campus Straubing