Joint thematic workshop -Sustainability and ‘zero-waste’

Sustainability – with a particular focus on the concept of ‘zero-waste’ – was the theme of this joint thematic workshop in which pupils from the UK and Germany were able to compare and contrast attitudes and share ideas for improving recycling and sustainability.


Zero-waste but lots of learning!

UK and German participants visited a local agro-farm and learned about how it produces environmentally friendly fertilisers, wind-powered electricity and natural gas for distribution across Germany to see what is being done locally with regards to sustainability. A visit to a zero-packaging shop in Berlin called ‘Unverpackt’ was also organised and participants were given a tour of the shop by the manager who gave insights into the concept of ‘zero-waste’.

Back in the classroom, pupils worked together in mixed-nationality groups to share their experiences and insights from their school lives and the culture of their countries on the topic of sustainability and environment – from the Pfand bottle recycling scheme to attending climate protests and reducing single-use plastics. They also analysed the food packaging that they consume on a daily basis and discussed the environmental impact of this.

Presenting findings and sharing ideas

At the end of the course, pupils presented their findings, highlighting some interesting cultural differences and similarities.

I thought the joint thematic workshop was enjoyable and interesting. Through speaking with our German partners about the topic of ‘zero waste’ I developed my oral skills and interpersonal skills…The joint thematic workshop enabled me to improve my knowledge on the German culture and the German recycling system.


It made me appreciate that it’s not quite as simple as the Germans are better at recycling etc. For instance, whilst they have the Pfandflaschen system in wide spread usage, they consume far more plastic bottles due to for instance buying sparkling water.


I though the thematic workshop was interesting and I learnt a lot about the recycling system in Germany and the attitudes of German students towards recycling and becoming more eco-friendly and self-sufficient.