Raising awareness about environmental issues cannot start early enough. For this reason the takeback system ARA, Waste Consulting Amstetten GDA and Müller-Guttenbrunn jointly organized an event called ARA4Kids last May 19th.
Separating wastes has become such a habbit in Austria, that children are often not educated in this field anymore. Therefore some 330 children from nearby kindergartens and elementary schools playfully learned to separate and properly treat household wastes, particularly packaging waste. The production hall 4 of the Müller-Guttenbrunn premises in Amstetten was all in childrens’ hands for one day. Furthermore the young guests got some insight from Chris Slijkhuis – responsible for e-waste recycling in the Müller-Guttenbrunn group – as to how new raw materials are obtained from for instance cables.
In games and plays the children learned how to avoid waste, to separate the different kind of wastes and how to keep the environment clean. Five games stations helped to implement what they have learned into practice equal. So the children could fish, among others paper waste from a „lily pond“ or to test their know-how about the various types of packaging at a sorting belt.
The ARA4kids mascot “Tobi Trennguru” actively supported the hardworking young environmentalists. The participants were rewarded with small gifts and medals.
„Children are natural explorers. We encourage them to consciously perceive and appreciate the environment, „says ARA Executive Werner Knausz. In order to provide the basis for a sound and environmentally oriented behavior, environmental awareness must be promoted at an early age. „We know from experience that it is especially play that can bring children closer to environmental issues such as waste prevention, anti-litter, separate collection and recycling of wastes. For us they are indispensable multipliers towards adults, „said Knausz.
ARA4kids consists of several building blocks to address the different sensory channels. In addition there are CD audio books, a comic book, games, craft instructions and stories as well as a coloring book. Another new feature is the “ARA4kids” suite case with different materials: a teaching tool that is helpful to vividly explain the recycling cycle – from raw material through to packaging, the separation and collection and finally the recycling of the material to become a new product.