In NimmAfval, Lotte Meeuse tries to find a way in which the trash problem on ‘het Waalstrandje’ in Nijmegen gets resolved.
For this project, I decided that I wanted to tackle the trash problem on ‘het Waalstrandje’ (the beach which lies next to the river Waal). Especially during Nijmegen’s annual Four Days Marches festivities, the entire beach is covered in trash. The trash is mostly party-related trash: beer cans, cigarette buds, snack packaging, etc.
After a lot of experimenting I came to the conclusion that, in order to motivate people to pick up their trash, you have to give them something in return. This is why I came up with the idea to let the municipality exchange filled trash bags for vouchers (that can be used to get a free drink during the Four Day Marches festivities).
Changing it up
However, I felt like vouchers could be easily forged and weren’t really sustainable (which is a bit contradicting when the whole point is to minimise trash). Because of this, I had to look for a different solution. After a lot of experiments – and failed ones too – I ended up designing plastic cards and coins. Ideally, I’d have loved fore these cards and coins to be made out of the plastic trash that would have been found on het Waalstrandje. However, at this time, I didn’t have the resources to pull this off.
The final product
After testing it out, I found that exchanging them for vouchers wasn’t going to work. It would be way too expensive and it would possibly attract a wrong type of audience. This is why for the final design, I decided that these cards can be used to drop off your trash for free at the local DAR (trash collecting service). In this way, you motivate people to collect trash at the beaches AND you give them something in return by letting them drop off their trash for free.
I would love to eventually bring this project to life, but because of COVID the four day marches were cancelled. Whenever we are able to party again, I’ll contact the municipality and discuss the development of this idea.
Below you will find the final three products, as well as the exhibition I set up to present them!