Astrid-Lindgren-Schule in Dauchingen has set itself the target of becoming an environmentally conscious school. In order to achieve this target, the pupils are learning about a number of different environmental issues, including the topic of plastic. For class 4, the highlight came when they were invited by the VDMA and Arburg to attend K 2019, the global trade fair for the plastics industry, in Dusseldorf.
Win-win-win situation for school, company and association
“The VDMA suggested inviting a school class to take part in the circular economy activities at the trade fair and I thought it was a great idea, so I discussed it with my wife who runs Astrid-Lindgren-Schule in Dauchingen,” says Gerhard Boehm, Managing Director Sales and Service at Arburg. “We had just started work on our environment projects at the start of the school year, so the invitation came at exactly the right time. It was a unique opportunity, so of course we accepted straight away,” says Ulla Boehm. “The children loved visiting the trade fair. It showed them that plastic is a valuable material that can be used to make wonderful products. And they also learned how these products can be recycled.” One of the best parts of the visit was the discussion in the VDMA pavilion, where Gerhard Boehm and Thorsten Kuehmann, Managing Director of VDMA Plastics and Rubber Machinery, answered questions from the children.
Spotlight on plastic as an important recyclable material
After the trade fair, the machine manufacturer invited the children to Lossburg so they could see for themselves how the plastic injection moulding machines are made and what resource conservation looks like in practice. “Our ‘arburgGREENworld’ initiative encompasses solutions for our customers as well as our internal processes,” says Gerhard Boehm. “But one of the big challenges for us is explaining to the public that plastic is an important recyclable material and should not simply be equated with waste – as is frequently the case in the current discussions.” The level of interest demonstrated by the children and the questions they asked showed how much they are engaging with the topic and how much they know about it.
Souvenir trowels in Arburg Mintgruen
The factory tour gave the young visitors a fascinating insight into production and assembly at a machine construction company. They were given an overview of the history of the company and the development of the machines, and they learned how plastic granules are processed with an injection moulding machine or an additive manufacturing system – a 3D printer for industrial use – in order to create all kinds of different plastic products. To round off the visit, an injection moulding machine in the Customer Center was put into operation specially for the school children. It was used to produce trowels in Arburg Mintgruen, which they were given to take home with them as a souvenir of their exciting day.