Developing new and innovative strategies to mitigate the plastic waste crisis our oceans face has been the main driver of the South Africa/Norway (SANO) Interns for Sustainability exchange programme. This three-year collaboration between SST and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) has united postgraduate students and young researchers to work together across academic, social, geographical, cultural, and legislative boundaries to combat plastic waste and prevent marine pollution.
Running from 2020 to 2023, each year saw a new cohort of participants working in teams on various plastic waste-related projects. In August this year, the concluding in-person workshop brought together the third SANO cohort, comprising 71 participants (53 of whom are group members or mentors), as well as judging panel members for the poster competition, hosts at the island field station of Mausund, and funder and NTNU representatives.
Held for the first time in Norway, it was one event that SST as coordinating partner simply couldn’t miss. The week’s activities included a visit to Mausund, which provided tangible insight into the waste challenges faced in Norway and its many islands. The programme also included focus sessions for the groups to finalise their posters and presentations.
The project was funded by the Norwegian Retailers’ Environmental Fund, which has been invaluable in advancing environmental work in Africa.