Three students from the Faculty of Engineering, UM Sumatera Barat (UMSB) invented a tool that turns plastic waste into useful products. They created a tool that can turn plastic waste into paving blocks. With this tool, the three of them represented UMSB and Bukittinggi in the Appropriate Technology Competition at the West Sumatra Province level. They were Milanium, Indra Saputra, and Nafa Koes Mutiara.
Appropriate technology is technology that is designed for the community with adjustments to environmental, social and cultural aspects. This technology can also play a role as an aspect in improving the welfare of the community. Currently, appropriate technology becomes a special concern of the government to alleviate problems that arise in the community.
Milanium explained the idea came from their concern about the large amount of waste in West Sumatra, especially Bukittinggi, which reaches 183 tons per day. This large amount mostly contains plastic waste, which we all know takes hundreds of years to decompose completely. “If it (plastic waste) is not managed properly, it will not only damage the environment. But also the good name of West Sumatra as a tourist destination,” said Milanium.
On the other hand, Hendri Sawir ST MT as the assessment team from the Community and Village Empowerment Office of West Sumatra Province hugely appreciated the innovation. He highlighted that the three students were able to observe and look further into the needs of the community and government, especially in plastic waste management. “This tool has great potential and is very useful for the community, not only for making paving blocks. But, it can also be used to create other economically valuable products,” he said.