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ASU students travel to Ethiopia to address plastic pollution problem

During a two-week trip to Ethiopia, several Arizona State University students will tackle the issue of plastic pollution affecting the country’s Simien Mountains National Park. A partnership with the Addis Ababa Institute of Technology assists students with building and fabricating machinery in order to recycle.

The reason for the plastic pollution stems from tourists.

India Schneider-Crease is an assistant professor at the ASU’s School of Human Evolution and Social Change.

“So basically you have tourists coming in who bring in plastic bottles because the water is unsafe to drink and they largely discard of those plastic bottles in the park in these open trash pits," she said.

Schneider-Crease also said there is significance behind the initiative.

“So one of the things that's really important to us is that this project is born out of community need. It's addressing an explicit need in the place where it will be installed," she said. 

The moonshot goal is to set up micro economies that can turn waste into products that can be used by the community to make a profit.

Ignacio Ventura is a reporter for KJZZ. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and a minor in news media and society.